Dorchester District 2 spending over $4M to upgrade security camera system

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 10:28 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:38 PM EST
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two is spending millions of dollars in taxpayer money to upgrade its security cameras to better protect its students.

The district is spending over $4 million to upgrade their security cameras at each school, and officials said they are a major help when it comes to keeping students safe.

“We probably, with this new camera system, are saving 40 to 50 hours of investigative time per week,” DD2 Director of Security Preston Giet said.

The district is spending an estimated $4.15 million in taxpayer money to install new cameras at every single campus.

Giet said the old cameras that were installed had run their course.

“We wanted to update to a higher technology,” Giet said. “It’s been a little over a decade since we’ve updated our camera systems in our schools, and you know how much technology changes from year-to-year, much less than when you get to 10 or 12 years.”

The price of the cameras was brought up during a meeting of the Facility Committee at district headquarters in Summerville.

Board member Barbara Crosby, who chairs the committee, said the price is in line with recent trends.

“I’ve been on this board for 13 years, and the cost has continuously gone up,” Crosby said. “Of course, this year, it’s just doubled and tripled on everything, so it’s not really a surprise. It’s just something we’re going to have to live with.”

According to Giet, the new cameras will be able to zoom in at much farther distances and have a higher resolution.

Plus, they have AI built into them and can detect abnormal situations and send an alert to school security.

The cameras also can search for people or cars based off a description they enter into a system.

“I can say, ‘Pull up all of those thumbnails on the screen,’ and say, ‘OK, which one was it?’ That person can say, ‘Well, it was that one, and when I click on that thumbnail, it will show me everywhere that person went, before and after, our cameras,” Giet said.

So far, around two thirds of the district’s schools have these new cameras installed, with seven still remaining.

Giet expects all of the new cameras to be installed at the remaining seven schools in August, just in time for the new school year.

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