Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the nation’s fourth-largest school district, has announced plans to spend $76.3 million on security cameras over three years. The initiative calls for adding new cameras and replacing outdated ones in an effort to ensure that all elementary and high schools in the district have state-of-the-art systems.
“As a district, we remain committed to investing in the resources and strategies that support the safety and security of our students and staff,“ said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “Our camera systems are just one tool, but they consistently prove valuable for deterring and resolving crime.”
According to CPS, the security camera systems are thoughtfully designed to give school security staff better visibility across areas of the school throughout the day. Also, in the event of an incident, cameras can help staff respond to situations promptly and captured footage can also be used for evidentiary purposes in investigations.
Serving more than 322,000 students in 635 schools, the district is prioritizing cameras for schools based on a scoring model that considers the following criteria: current camera condition, number of safety incidents taking place at the school, number of criminal incidents taking place in the vicinity of the school, the CPS Equity Opportunity Index, and school enrollment. CPS schools with up-to-date systems will not be included in this program.
The implementation will be a phased-in approach across three years:
FY23: Phase 1 investment is $13.5M and consists of 63 schools (58 ES and 5 HS); expected to be completed during the summer 2023.
FY24: Phase 2 investment is $30.9M and consists of 135 schools (120 ES and 15 HS); installation will take place September 2023 – August 2024
FY25: Phase 3 investment is $31.9M and consists of 133 schools (122 ES and 11 HS); installation will take place September 2024 – August 2025
CPS noted it oversees a number of other initiatives, programs, and services related to school safety and security, as well as students’ emotional safety and well-being. More information is available here.