camerapoway NBC San Diego
The Poway district is upgrading security cameras at a dozen schools.

Poway (Calif.) district approves upgrade of camera security at 12 schools

Officials say improving camera surveillance is the first phase of a comprehensive security program upgrade.

The Poway (Calif.) Unified School District has approved a contract to install and upgrade security cameras at a dozen schools.

NBC San Diego reports that the safety initiative has been prompted by school shootings around the nation as well as more minor incidents within the district.

The board approved a $482,000 contract to upgrade and add cameras at 12 high schools and middle schools.

The first phase of the project, which includes district headquarters, is expected to be completed by the start of next school year.

A second phase, which has yet to be bid on, will seek to install cameras at schools that don't already have them.

The cameras are the first steps that have resulted from a comprehensive security assessment spurred by the deadly shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The video footage will be recorded but not monitored 24-7. The district says even having recorded footage will help school officials keep better watch, especially at schools such as Rancho Bernardo High School, where older cameras weren't able to clearly capture the vandal who spray-painted death threats on the wall earlier this year.

The district is pursuing a comprehensive approach to address the issue of gun violence, Communications Director Christine Paik says. In addition to the cameras, the district is planning more emotional support programs, and is starting a Safety Planning Committee that parents can sign up for on the district's website.

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