Sep 5

Written by: Bret Rachlin
9/5/2008 10:57 AM

The vandalism that occurred at the Chugwater School in Platte County, Wyoming, last month was the third incident this year (Source: Platte County Record-Times, 8/28/2008, School vandalism under investigation). While the dollar amount of damage is still not known, this time the destruction was extensive. In addition to 70 windows broken out, a copier, refrigerator, two microwaves, and three computers were destroyed among many other items. The cost of seven broken windows earlier in the year cost $1,500, so it’s clear that this act of vandalism will be much more expensive.

While the article does not say whether or not the school had network video surveillance or access control, it does mention that the police are investigating several leads. Of course, it is likely that a video surveillance solution implemented in an appropriate fashion would be able to assist police in its investigation, so that the perpetrators could be punished quickly and efficiently. Moreover, notification to the school population and community that the school is under video surveillance could deter a great deal of mischief.

In addition to the property damage, there is also a psychological impact on the school community that suffers from vandalism.

“If it can happen to our school in the community, can it happen to us?” Chugwater School Principal George Kopf said. “Will it turn from just breaking things to maybe physical altercations? And I think that’s the mental strain that is probably worse for everybody.”

According to a June 27, 2005 Time Magazine article, the U.S. Office of Education calculated the annual cost of public school destruction at more than $100 million. With the annual cost of school vandalism across the U.S. so high, can schools afford not to have adequate surveillance and access control solutions to secure their properties?

Do your security solutions provide adequate coverage to protect your schools from vandalism?

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