Security cameras installed inside Catoosa Co. elementary schools - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Security cameras installed inside Catoosa Co. elementary schools

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Cameras will be rolling when school starts next month at Westside Elementary.
“My first responsibility when we open these doors and we welcome our 500 students here is that they will be safe,” said Mike Rich, Principal, Westside Elementary School.

The focus is on the hallways.These cameras are meant to keep students safe and crack down on bullying. Westside was part of a pilot program that has now expanded across the county. Principal Mike Rich says during the trial process a test camera not only helped administrators identify who was coming in and out of the building, it also helped identify bullies. 

“Sometimes it's confirmed what we thought from our investigation, and sometimes we discovered new information,” said Rich.

Doug Suits, Director of Operations, says the added cameras are in response to parent requests. A survey was distributed to all of Catoosa County. Citizens responded with clear concerns about the well-being of elementary school students. 

“There was a strong interest in safety, and improving safety in our schools,” said Doug Suits, Director of Operations, Catoosa County Schools.

All of the elementary schools are equipped with cameras that Suits says are easy to use. 
“One mega pixel cameras and they are Pelco products. We went with those because of the software, it's very manageable, very user friendly,” said Suits.
The county spent $67,000 to install cameras in all of its elementary schools. The project was paid for with E-SPLOST dollars. There are plans to add more cameras in the future. It’s not only Catoosa County investing in school security, in the next 10-14 months every Hamilton County School will have cameras. A 2 million dollar investment for Hamilton county leaders.

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