The Badger School Board took a step towards upgrading the school building’s video surveillance system by approving a bid from Wright Locksmith and Security out of Warroad at its May 14 meeting. Requesting board approval to move forward on this upgrade, Badger Superintendent Tom Jerome said the idea behind it is to provide tighter access to the building.
As Lawrence Wright out of Wright Locksmith and Security explained, this work, which could begin in the summer, would improve both the school’s visual and door lock security.
As part of the estimated bid, the school’s system will receive work on its access control, totaling $7,400, and receive five extra cameras and a recorder, totaling $3,000.
Jerome explained that this new system also includes upgrades to its entry system and creates a situation that would require individuals to now “verbally and visually ‘check-in’” with whoever is at the school office’s front desk before being granted inside access to the building during school hours. Both of the school’s recorders have the capabilites for facial recognition software, helpful in cases where the school has a substitute at its front desk and may have someone approach the building who is not allowed into it.
Wright also explained how a couple years ago they upgraded the school’s camera recorders to high definition (HD). Earlier, he mentioned how the Badger School’s security system’s access control works well, being installed by him in 2007 and not having many issues over that time.
“Badger School has been one of the more progressive schools as far as looking at this,” Wright said.
Since, as Wright explained, the school, for the most part, has the infrastructure for this security system upgrade, he said moving forward with an upgrade versus putting in an entirely new system would be the cheaper route. Plus, as Wright said, the school wouldn’t get anything better by just going with the upgrade.
Later, prior to the board’s approval of this upgrade, board member Hauger expressed how he thought this upgrade was “somewhat premature.”
“Until the safety committee goes through (it), you might see some different recommendations and/or what to incorporate something else besides, and I don’t think, by waiting a month, it would hurt anything,” Hauger said. “And hopefully we could have a couple committee meetings to go over some of this to see if there’s anything additional.”
Plus, as Hauger explained, he didn’t exactly know where these cameras would be placed and thought the committee should be taking a look at this.
Prior to the board’s approval, Badger Dean of Students Stacey Warne, as asked by board member Jim Christianson, expressed his thoughts on an upgraded system.
“What he (Wright) presented is going to enhance our capabilities right now significantly. And we’re kind of up against the wall when it comes to installation because summer’s the perfect time to get it done,” Warne said. “I don’t know how long it will take him (Wright) to install, how long it takes him to get it, but it makes sense to move on it prior to the next school year.”
Jerome also provided his thoughts on the upgrade, when asked by Christianson.
“I think it can wait, but I also find it interesting that I have been on the receiving end of a fair amount of verbal feedback from not only board members, some, but from community members,” Jerome said, (saying) that ‘we need to see something, we need to see it now, and you need to start taking school security seriously.’”
Later board member Christianson, in place of Board Chairperson Jamie Isane, unable to attend the meeting, expressed his support in moving forward with the upgrade.
“I agree with you Mr. Jerome, I think, because of feedback from certain citizens in the area,” Christianson said. “… This (board meeting) is a place we, I think, have to start (at) if we’re going to do anything at all and where we go from here, that can still be discussed at the (safety committee) meeting (on Wednesday). This is one step and may not be the only thing we do.”
To see the complete Badger School Board meeting story, read the May 30 issue of The Tribune in print or online.