Will new cameras coming to Broward County public schools raise privacy issues?

Cameras will recognize movements, characteristics of people, vehicles

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools leaders are considering installing new, cutting-edge cameras to beef up security on campuses. The cameras can recognize and remember your movements, but does the technology raise privacy concerns? 

"Safety and security has been and continues to be something we have a laser-like focus on," Superintendent Robert Runcie said.  

The Broward County School District is planning on installing about 116 cameras for 33 schools in the district thanks to a nearly $500,000 grant.

"It is to add additional cameras that have some unique capabilities to the existing system we already have," Runcie said.  

Runcie said the high-tech cameras will monitor the perimeter of schools and recognize the movements and characteristics of people and cars that are not supposed to be there.

"Were someone to trespass and jump over a fence, it would automatically issue an alert to a console viewer and we would then certainly take appropriate action and investigate the circumstances," Runcie said.  

The schools that will get the new cameras are those that have high security needs.

When asked if Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were shot and killed last year, will be a part of the added security measure, Runcie said extra measures have already been taken at the Parkland school. 

"We've already outfitted MSD with over 100 additional cameras since Feb. 14th," Runcie said. "We've upgraded the intercom systems. There's a lot of work we've done outside of the district."

The company providing the cameras is called Avigilon. Fulton County Public Schools in Georgia already uses the cameras and praises the technology.

About the Author: