Published in the April 27, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD — The school department’s security system upgrades are going to be completed by the end of the week, Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay told the School Committee Monday.

As part of the school department’s fiscal year 2016 capital budget, voters at last year’s Town Meeting appropriated $225,000 to improve school security. Tremblay informed the Villager in an interview the project entailed purchasing new cameras at all of the schools. She also said new monitors were purchased for the elementary schools and Lynnfield High School, which are similar to the current monitor at Lynnfield Middle School. She also said a buzzer system was installed at the high school.

Tremblay said the project was delayed because it had to go out to bid.

“The bid process took longer than expected,” said Tremblay. “But now that it’s finished, we could not be happier.”

Tremblay said the last security camera that needed to be installed was completed Tuesday morning at Lynnfield Middle School.

“We are up and running,” said Tremblay. “All of the monitors have been installed in the front offices. Everything is done and by Thursday morning, everything will be tuned and the monitors will be up and running.”

Tremblay said the project entailed installing cameras both inside and outside of the town’s four schools.

“All of the cameras that were outside of the buildings have been upgraded to a much better quality camera,” said Tremblay.

Tremblay also noted school officials will be working on camera angles this week to “make sure all of the angles are the angles the principals want.”

School Committee member Salvatore Cammarata inquired where are the new monitors located and who oversees the monitors.

Tremblay said the monitors are located in the front office of each school. She said the monitors are similar to a flat screen TV and the monitors allow school officials to see different areas of the school simultaneously. She said the monitor in the middle school’s main office has eight separate boxes, which allows Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston to monitor eight different areas at once.

“They are motion activated,” Tremblay added. “And if someone needs to go back and look at the tape, you can. It’s a pretty good system.”

Cammarata also inquired if the new cameras will “run 24/7?”

Tremblay said the cameras will be on every day and night.

“There were times something would happen when I was principal at Summer Street and I would go back and look at the tape,” said Tremblay.

In response to a question from School Committee member Jamie Hayman, Tremblay said there are cameras monitoring the LHS fields complex.

School Committee member Rich Sjoberg inquired if school officials are comfortable using the new cameras and monitors.

“I would say that they are,” said Tremblay. “Stephen Ralston is the expert in the district and if the other principals need any help, they would definitely call him. But they are not that complicated to run.”

School Committee Vice Chairwoman Dorothy Presser asked Tremblay if there are cameras located on school buses.

Tremblay said there are cameras on all of the school buses and school officials have the ability to review footage on those cameras as well.

“We use those a lot,” said Tremblay.