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Camera Renovations, Security Upgrades Made via Ohio Grant Funding

The safety and well-being of students and staff are top priorities for CPS. That’s why our security department goes above and beyond to create a healthy learning environment and make sure children, parents and staff feel safe at all times.

The district’s security system received a facelift this year thanks to funding from the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program, and Security and Controls Manager Lekendalle Heights is thrilled by the early results from the renovations and new camera installations.

 “We were extremely excited that we were awarded funding to be able to move forward with this project,” Heights said. “The most important part is having the confidence that our children are in a safe environment.”

Heights said his team’s goal is to supply clean, comfortable and safe spaces. The only way for them to ensure safety for all is with up-to-date surveillance technology and trained employees watching over the district’s facilities.

Over $2.8 million in state funding includes the implementation of Wisenet software, which centralizes all security devices throughout the district in one convenient digital space. Not only are there new cameras with improved picture clarity but also more cameras, with high-traffic areas and potential blind spots now covered as well.

In the past, the worst-case scenario was an old camera goes out or offline, an incident takes place at that location and no footage can be contributed toward an investigation. This new technology directly prevents that from ever happening, alerting Heights’ team of system irregularities in real time.

“We take pride in making sure we respond to concerns immediately,” Heights said. “The faster you know about it, the faster you can correct it.”

The technology also features AI-driven capabilities like facial recognition. If security needs to find a visitor wearing a black jacket or call up all students that passed through a hallway during a particular time, they can efficiently narrow down that search and identify crucial information. 

Installations began last summer and continued into the fall as security staff learned how to maximize the new software. It had been about 10 years before the district’s cameras were last upgraded, and Heights expects these to last through 2038.

“There’s nothing better than having all brand-new technology,” Heights said. “To know that CPS prioritizes safety and puts funding and time toward ensuring that the camera infrastructure is upgraded would be a game-changer for me as a parent.”