Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MCPS: More cameras, less security staff in schools

While attending a conference* in Dallas, Texas in February 2009, MCPS Director of School Safety and Security Bob Hellmuth gave a video interview. In that interview, Mr. Hellmuth states that,
"It is so much cheaper to install cameras than it is to go hire additional security staff." (At minute 4:30)
In light of the news from Northwest High School, and now the news from Springbrook High School, when was the decision made by the Board of Education to forgo hiring security staff and instead replace people with cameras?

How much are the 13,000 (?) cameras that are being purchased to replace the existing cameras going to cost? When was the cost-benefit analysis done on this procurement and where are the results? Is it really cheaper to replace cameras than hire security staff? When did the Board of Education evaluate these options, review the costs and make this decision?

*Mr. Hellmuth attended a conference in Dallas, Texas during the MCPS "travel freeze" (click link and see page 5 of memo from MCPS COO Larry Bowers for statement on MCPS travel freeze due to budget restrictions)

First posted March 27, 2009 on the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County blog. Updated and re-run in response to arrests at Springbrook High School.

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