LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Should school districts faced with budget cuts and layoffs consider investing in improved security cameras to crack down on widespread property theft?

That’s the question facing La Canada school officials, who hope wireless security cameras will put an end to some of the vandalism on their campuses — a trend LAUSD official are calling a problem on their campuses as well.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the push can be traced back to an incident earlier in the school year.

Back in March, thieves ripped off some brass pipes and large copper pipes at La Canada High School, prompting the district to draw up plans to install up to 10 surveillance cameras at all four schools by summertime.

Neil Gamble, director of maintenance and operations for LAUSD, said similar thefts are happening at some of their 900 schools as well.

“We have periodic thefts from cooper coils off HVAC on rooftops all the way down to actual primary conductors,” said Gamble.

Gamble says a number of LAUSD schools already have surveillance cameras in place — and on occasion they even help police catch the criminals.

In the meantime, however, the cash-poor district is stuck spending money that might otherwise go to classrooms on repairs and replacements for the items that were stolen.

Comments (3)
  1. diosdado1001 says:

    Cameras won’t help if the same people from school are stealing. Have the carry ametal detector with a wireless transmiter to send a signal to the police whenever they are carrying as stolen metal pipe.

  2. Seth Cirker says:

    I would suggest that La Canada checks out what other schools are now doing as a video surveillance option -and used effectively during a recent lockdown at another LA school – http://www.situcon.com – seems like a perfect fit.

    The system protects privacy by placing “eyelids” over the cameras, so that they are only opened after hours and in emergencies so that responders can see firsthand what is going on. It’s the best of both worlds for schools – safety / security and privacy.

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