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15 New Cameras Will Soon Go Live Around Campus

Campus+Safety+Officer+Mr.+Weichold+will+be+able+to+monitor+all+of+the+cameras+via+his+desktop.
Campus Safety Officer Mr. Weichold will be able to monitor all of the cameras via his desktop.

Campus Safety Officer Mr. Weichold will be able to monitor all of the cameras via his desktop.

Campus Safety Officer Mr. Weichold will be able to monitor all of the cameras via his desktop.

Tarn Bregman, Staff Reporter

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The new cameras around the school will soon be recording.

In the past few weeks, 15 new cameras have appeared around campus, prompting many questions as to their purpose.

There has been worry among some students that the school is now watching their every move, or monitoring the behavior of specific students. However, according to Campus Safety Officer Matthew Weichold, this is not the case.

“The purpose of them is to cover all of the emergency exits in the school,” Mr. Weichold said, explaining that this is the first part of an initiative to increase school safety. “The first phase we wanted to determine, looking at La Salle right now, how vulnerable are we camera wise. So [for this] first phase we chose 15 spots to cover our exterior exits.”

These brand new 15 cameras are in addition to some that were already existing, bringing the total number on campus to 22. The new cameras, which are scheduled to become fully operational next week, will store recorded video footage in a constantly updating 30 day loop.

One of the new cameras that has been added, located near the gym entrance.

According to Mr. Weichold, the cameras were placed around the school only to monitor exterior exits during the school day, as well as to record any unauthorized entry outside of normal school hours. 

“Something students should know [is that] the cameras aren’t pointing at classrooms,” Mr. Weichold said. “They are not pointing at bathrooms or anything like that. They’re literally pointing at emergency exits.”

During school hours, Mr. Weichold will monitor the camera feeds while sitting at his desk to watch exits in case an individual attempts to enter the school. This will also allow him to monitor if exterior doors are propped open.

Mr. Weichold also wanted students to know that all of the new cameras are fixed view cameras, meaning they cannot be moved to change what the camera is looking at.

Although the intention of the new camera system is for added campus safety, some students and teachers have concerns about the new cameras.

“I just think it is an invasion of privacy,” junior Gage Wollan said. “This school is so small, and there is a teacher around every corner, so [the cameras are not necessary].” 

Other students felt that the cameras were beneficial, adding necessary security to the school.

“I do think it is a good idea,” freshman Carson Cardwell said. “[Cameras] increase safety, but overall I think the cameras should [continue to only] stay facing outside the school.”

English teacher Mr. Larson had some concerns regarding the way cameras would be perceived by students. “I am all for [safety],” he said. “However, I don’t think people think [school security] when they see a camera. That is why we have to get the word out on that… I do not disagree [with ensuring student safety]. I just worry about the tacit or implicit message that comes with having cameras in hallways… I would just like to see more done on the front of addressing the way it could be received.”

When the new cameras are turned on, Mr. Weichold’s computer will display all 22 live camera feeds.

“I feel like it might be a little invasive for some,” said recently elected Senior Executive Officer Olivia Keepes. However, her opinion changed when she was told more about the cameras. “I did not know that [they faced exits]. Seeing them up in the hallways kind of freaked out students and makes them think, ‘oh my god, we are being watched’. But if they really only are facing towards the exits I think that is way more effective and should have been told to the students,” she said.

Sophomore Cole Lamb expressed concern about the cameras. “I think they are good for security, but I think they violate my privacy,” he said. “What if people in the office are watching me walk through the halls? How would I know I was being monitored?”

“I do think people deserve privacy,” science teacher Mrs. Coleman said. However, “looking at two [aspects] in particular, I’m not against this… Two summers ago someone broke into the science wing and stole a bunch of our stuff, and that was a huge violation of our space and for students I’m just not okay with that… But the other thing, which is paramount to me, is school safety. [The school] cannot prevent everything, but my students’ safety is my number one priority. And I believe it is the school’s best intentions for that.”

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About the Writer
Tarn Bregman, Assistant Editor

Tarn is a senior at La Salle. He is a varsity lacrosse player and actor in La Salle’s theater program. In his free time he enjoys photography, spending time with friends, and feeding his popcorn addiction.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “15 New Cameras Will Soon Go Live Around Campus”

  1. Nicole Khoury on May 23rd, 2018 9:29 pm

    Great article tarn! Definitely had questions that were answered:)

  2. Ted Johnson on May 24th, 2018 6:59 am

    Well done! I have seen a lot of these setups at a few businesses in the Portland Metro area, where proprietary and employee safety is practiced.

  3. Mr. De Ieso on May 24th, 2018 7:38 am

    Tarn, Nice job reporting out on this most especially I appreciate the different perspectives of the people interviewed. So often I look forward to the “lifestyle” and human interest pieces the Falconer staff puts out. Your article has added objective local news reporting to the mix for me. Keep up the good work.

  4. Ms. McDonald on May 24th, 2018 5:22 pm

    I enjoyed reading your article about the new security cameras. I thought you did a great job interviewing people and remaining objective.

  5. Dakota Canzano on May 25th, 2018 8:28 am

    This was very good, informational piece. It was neat hearing what students had to say about the cameras being placed in the school. I think many students were freaked out about the 15 cameras placed in the school but after reading this article, I hope students realize that the cameras are placed facing exits for campus safety only, not to watch your every move. I hope students will feel comfortable knowing that they’re there to keep us safe for security reasons. I’m glad Tarn wrote this piece because I think it’s important that we address things students have many curious questions about. La Salle is doing a nice job keeping us safe. Great work Tarn!

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15 New Cameras Will Soon Go Live Around Campus