Several Rockdale schools install new security cameras

CONYERS - Rockdale County Public Schools maintenance employees have been working this school semester to install new security cameras at several schools.

The project, which includes the installation of new systems and upgrading old ones for between $10,000 and $13,000, will continue into the summer.

"It will help with surveillance," said Steve Newman, general maintenance and grounds manager for RCPS.

Before the new cameras were installed, most elementary schools had 16 cameras, and middle and high schools had between 16 and 24, he said.

Once the project is complete, each of the elementary schools will have 32 cameras, middle schools will have 64 and high schools will have between 64 and 80.

One unit includes a 16-camera setup, digital video recorder, monitor, surge protector, camera and wiring.

Cameras may cover hallways, entrances, doors and bus areas, as well as "areas around the building where mischief takes place," Newman said.

"They seem to cut out a lot of mischief," he said. "It doesn't cut all of it down, but some."

Edwards Middle School's School Resource Officer Deputy Carlos Dixon said the school doesn't have "a whole lot of mischief anyway," but he believed that adding the cameras a couple of months ago in the school had helped cut down on some that could have occurred.

"They know they are there," he said about the students recognizing the cameras. "Quite naturally, it can't stop everything. Some (students) don't care, but some are aware."

Newman said the schools' principals and SROs determined where to place the cameras.

Administrators and SROs monitor the cameras from offices to keep an eye on multiple events around the school. Newman said the cameras have good image quality, and Dixon said he likes new features like zooming and moving the camera.

The systems are expected to last between five and seven years.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.