Valley school district going hi-tech to ensure security

Posted: Updated:

Kyrene de la Mirada elementary school in Chandler is going hi-tech. They are adding everything from security cameras to badges.

“We have some high resolution cameras and then we have some standard cameras and they cover all facets of the school,” said assistant principal Dino Katsiris. “All exterior doors and perimeters are covered by the cameras and then we have some of the interior of the actual doors.”

More than 60 cameras are now keeping a closer eye on the Kyrene de la Mirada students in Chandler.  It's all part of the new campus security systems being installed at all 25 schools in the Kyrene school district.

“So if parents are feeling their children are safe here at our school then that's one less thing they have to worry about and we can focus on achievement,” Katsiris said.

Katsiris said the cameras not only serve as another form of security, but also help monitor situations during school hours.

Sometimes we have discrepancies between different things here, maybe on the playground, student incident,” Katsiris said. “So we have to go and look and see what actually happens.”

It can also come in handy after school.

“It’s been really nice for us,” Katsiris said. “If maybe there was a theft on campus or a vandalism we're able to find out exactly what happened and be able to refer it to the local police.”

What happens when emergency situations may arise on campus?

“Now they will be able to be in contact with them by phone and also have access to see what is happening on the campus and make sure it's just another pair of eyes to help make sure our campus is secure,” Katsiris said.

Katsiris said another level of security being rolled out--smart badges. The Kyrene faculty is required to use them to get into the school.

“They are encoded with a chip that basically can unlock doors,” Katsiris said. “We also have the access if they are lost at any time, they can be disabled immediately at our district office through our system.”

Principal Nancy Branch said this extra level of security not only helps keep the students safe, but also helps them determine who is telling the truth in any situation.

“It provides me as an administrator an opportunity to assure parents of even greater safety,” Branch said. “It allows me to just provide information that we may have not had in the past and we had to take someone's word and we would never have the whole story.”

The Kyrene school district is also looking to update its surveillance video on all of its buses.