Beware. The round, black globes hanging from the ceiling are not the latest in decorative light fixtures.
Montgomery County installed almost 50 new security cameras throughout the school over the summer, bringing the total number of cameras to about 80. The new cameras will be in operation by mid-September, when the county finishes installing the server that activates them.
The new, more technologically advanced cameras provide better images than the currently operating ones, principal Alan Goodwin said.
“I’m looking forward to their use,” Goodwin said. “We solve most of our crimes in school through camera work.”
The new cameras offer views of students from both ends of the hallways and in stairwells. Their use will help deter crime, catch theft and determine who started a fight, Goodwin said.
Students appreciate the extra security, especially in the wake of the August 27 shooting at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County, which left one Baltimore student critically wounded.
“The cameras are a proper means to survey the school for any suspicious activity,” senior Abhishek Chaturvedi said.
Another benefit of the new cameras is that any security guard or administrator can access the visual display by computer at any time. Video display from the old cameras can only be displayed in the room housing the monitors, Goodwin said.
County capital improvement funds paid for the approximately $200,000 installation, according to Doug Steel, supervisor of school safety and security. Whitman spent approximately $35,000 of internal funds to purchase about 10 additional cameras positioned outside the building, Steel said.
“I think that anything that provides a safer environment for the faculty and staff is a good thing,” security team leader Andy Weiss said.