NISD to add cameras at all elementary schools

Project expected to be completed in 14 months

A major project is underway in the Northside Independent School District to install surveillance cameras in all of its elementary schools.

The $13.4 million project was approved by voters in the school bond 2010 election and is expected to be completed within the next 14 months.

However, two Northside elementary schools already have the cameras up as part of a pilot program.

Martin Elementary is one of those schools.

June Ramirez, a parent at Martin Elementary, said Thursday that when she drops off her daughter she is confident her little girl is safe, knowing that there are dozens of surveillance cameras set up throughout the campus.

"Somebody's watching to see who comes in and who comes out," said Ramirez. "Nobody gets past the office, which is great. I feel the kids here are safe."

Paul Brusewitz, assistant principal at Martin Elementary, said the cameras have helped a lot since they went up two years ago.

And with about 25 cameras throughout the school's entrance, exit, playgrounds and cafeterias, Brusewitz said there's always somebody watching.

"It's so helpful because we can't be everywhere," he said. "We do our best to make sure everything is safe, but the cameras allow us that extra resource of being able to see if something happened or something is currently taking place."

"As a teacher, I feel much safer walking around the hallways, being in the classrooms when other people come in the building," said Crystal Trevino, a teacher at Martin Elementary.

The district is now not only getting ready to install cameras in all of their elementary schools, they are also planning to update all the cameras already set up at their high schools and middle schools.

"We have to do whatever we have to do to keep kids safe," said Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District. "That's why we come to work every single day and we're going to do everything we can. This particular tool allows campus administrators and the Northside police department access to videos from all of our schools at the push of the button."

Currently, Martin Elementary and Westwood Terrace are the only elementary schools to have these surveillance cameras, but by next year, all 73 elementary school, which includes two that are under construction, will also have these cameras.


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