Moved by the disappearance of a 7-year-old boy in Portland, Ore., a mother of two in southwest Washington has started a petition to install surveillance cameras in schools.
“I’m petitioning to get better security systems around the campuses, parking lots, every entrance and exit. I want to better security for children,” she said.
The petition, calling for state funding for cameras, is now available to sign online.
The school where the boy, Kyron Horman, was last seen on June 4 does not have surveillance cameras. As a result, there is no record of him coming onto the campus or leaving it that day.
From my experience, I would guess about a third of schools in the U.S. still don’t have cameras. Many more have cameras, but they either have too few to be effective or have failed to keep the cameras in good working condition.
As one person signing the petition online commented: “Why does something have to go wrong before someone gets off their butt to do something?” That’s a good question.
If your school doesn’t have cameras, take action now to get them in place before classes begin in August or September. Start with a risk assessment to show a need and then apply for many federal, state, and private grants available for upgrading campus security.
Patrick Fiel is public safety advisor for ADT Security Services and a former executive director of school security for Washington, D.C. Public School System. He also served 22 years in the Army Military Police Corps, where his responsibilities included day-to-day security operations at the West Point Military Academy. During his time with ADT, Fiel has conducted more than 100 television, radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews as a public and school safety expert.
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