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)
How much did the 13,000(?) cameras that were purchased to replace the existing security cameras in schools cost? There was no contract for this procurement so it's hard to know for sure if these thousands of cameras cost more or less than $23 million!
When was the cost-benefit analysis done on this procurement and where are the results?
Is it really cheaper to install 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)
This posting first posted March 27, 2009 then re-posted on April 29, 2009 on the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County blog.