The district plans to install 750-plus cameras at 26 middle and high schools between now and the end of the 2010-11 school year, using a $1.5 million Department of Justice grant.
It’s hoped that the infusion of technology — and the ability for school police to monitor the happenings on every campus from one location — will keep a lid on a number of the district’s chronic ills, including truancy, neighborhood crime, on-campus fights.
If you have a flexible work schedule and want to see a demonstration of this new system, maybe I’ll see you at the Oakland Technical High School library at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Here’s an excerpt of the district’s news release that lists the potential benefits:
* Reduce violence on school campuses and in surrounding neighborhoods
* Improve student attitudes relating to safety at school
* Boost student attendance (by diminishing fear of unruly students)
* Increase student achievement (as a result of fewer distractions, fewer behavioral problems and more regular attendance)
* Enhance levels of communication, problem solving and cooperation between OUSD and OPD and OUSD, OPD and the Oakland community at-large
* Serve as the catalyst for more technology-enabled, data-driven and people-sensitive crime prevention programs in Oakland and throughout the country
Security cameras have been in use for years; the above photo was taken at Fremont High School in 2002, in fact, and the caption said the school had just installed 32 cameras. How effective have such efforts been in the past?
In what ways do you think — or hope — the SOS system will improve the safety and security of Oakland students and staff? What are its limitations?
Tribune file photo of Fremont High School in 2002/Sean Connelley