Tennessee School District Looks to Upgrade 500 Legacy Security Cameras

Hawkins County Schools is seeking funding to replace legacy analog cameras with IP models that can be viewed remotely.

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. – School officials with the Hawkins County Board of Education, located here, are seeking funding to either upgrade or replace about 500 legacy video surveillance cameras with wireless IP models at around a dozen schools, according to a news report.

Five schools that were newly constructed or received major additions during a building project a few years ago were already outfitted with IP surveillance cameras, according to TimesNews.net. All told there are already about 350 IP cameras system-wide.

Technology director Rosie Bailey told the Board of Education Feb. 5 that about 500 analog cameras were installed at all other schools from 2005 to 2009.

One problem with the analog cameras is the software they use is obsolete and not compatible with Windows 7. When one crashes, Bailey said, it take bits and pieces from another system to get it back up.

“The age is on them and there’s really nothing else we can do about it but try and prop them up,” she added.

Bailey presented the board with two options for upgrading its video surveillance system.

Purchasing all new IP cameras would cost about $8,400 per school, which also includes new servers, licensing and tech support, although ongoing tech support would be an additional $225 per school annually.

Since IP cameras cover more area, each school would be replacing about 30 analog cameras with 24 IP models.

For about $4,825 per school, the school district could convert existing analog cameras into IP installing a device into each camera and purchasing some new servers. The IP cameras can be viewed from smartphones or any Web-enabled computer device by authorized persons.

Director of Schools Steve Starnes said the Central Office staff will be looking for capital to cover the cost of a surveillance camera upgrade as the 2015-’16 budget process begins in coming months, TimesNews.net reports.

Bailey said she will also be looking into potential grant funding that could help cover the cost.

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