Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems have become an accepted part of the school security network. But installing a CCTV system does not deter crime in and of itself. Careful thought must be given to the purpose of the installation, placement of cameras, and selection of equipment.

Here are a number of questions to consider when devising a plan for CCTV installations:

• Am I protecting people or equipment? Remember, this has an impact on camera placement.

• If I’m protecting equipment, where is it located? Am I worried about it being removed from the building or vandalized on school property?

• Do I need cameras inside and outside the building? Outside cameras are more costly, because they must be able to take usable images in poor lighting conditions.

• Do I use digital or analog cameras? For most applications, digital cameras are superior.

• Do I need to hire someone to monitor the cameras and change film (if it is analog film)?

• Do I need to purchase costly multicamera viewing equipment in the event that I do need to review a great deal of film? Does the school district have this equipment already?