Tolleson Union High School District exploring AI to help beef up school security
TOLLESON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - As kids head back to school, campus security is a top priority. One West Valley school district is considering a new way to enhance security measures through artificial intelligence. The district superintendent says it can identify potentially hazardous situations before they happen, alerting security officers on the ground. The tech already exists and is ready to go. They just need a vote of approval.
“AI can do things that we can’t,” said Jeremy Calles, the Tolleson Union High School District superintendent. Calles’ wish is for the district to get creative with campus safety. “The AI can create a virtual fence line and alert you any time there’s anything going through that perimeter,” he said.
Calles says AI is the future of security. “If you know that you’re looking for someone in a red shirt, you just prompt the AI, and it will show you actively who is on the campus in a red shirt. It’s very advanced,” he said. Calles hopes to install the tech at every campus in the district.
The goal is to prevent fights, drug use, intruders, and shootings. “If I’m an AI and I’m looking at a camera, and I see people posturing, getting ready for a fight, I’d like to have the campus security over there before the first punch is even thrown,” Calles said.
He says it’s an endeavor that would be cost-effective. “We are fortunate that the cameras we have already installed at all of our campuses are already compatible with AI technology. It’s simply adding in the AI server,” he said.
All while creating new jobs rather than slashing existing ones. Calles claims the AI won’t replace security guards, only enhance them. “I had the governing board approve additional security staff members at every site. Because we still need those human eyes over this,” he explained.
He says the tech would not impede on students’ privacy. “We won’t be storing facial images of our students tied to their IDs,” Calles said. The servers would be used in cafeterias, hallways, outdoors, and in large gathering areas. It would not be used in the classrooms or bathrooms. “This entire year will be dedicated towards discovery,” he said.
Before the new tech could be installed, it would have to go through a public comment period and be voted on by the school board. They hope to accomplish that before the 2024-25 school year.
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