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Hamilton County installs new school security cameras

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

When Hamilton County schools reopen next week, it will be in the midst of their biggest security upgrade ever: some 2500 cameras, valued at almost two million dollars are being installed.

Workers are spending the summer installing security cameras in hallways, entrances and other common areas in every Hamilton County school. According to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lee McDade, it's the district's largest security upgrade ever.

The funding, estimated at 1.9 million dollars, was appropriated by the County commission following the sale of the old Ooltewah Elementary School.  The camera system is a significant update over the fading, blurry images used in years past.

Starting this fall, when you enter a Hamilton County school, your movements can be tracked instantly by administrators on site, in the central office, and by police officials.  If there's a question about what happened at a particular location and time, there's no more searching for tapes...the video is readily available.

McDade says the new security cameras should make parents, students and teachers breathe easier, providing closer scrutiny for student behavior, and instant evidence of vandalism or burglary.

The surveillance cameras are being installed in hallways and cafeterias as well as entrances and parking lots. Twelve schools already had adequate cameras, so the new cameras are being added at the remaining sixty-four county schools.  Cameras are not being placed in bathrooms, although hallway cameras will be able to show who's entering and leaving those rooms.

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