District approves security cameras at high school

Laguna Beach High School may install four security cameras in and around the administration building so officials can refer to video after a break-in or theft.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District board approved the cameras on a first reading at its Oct. 8 meeting.

The hope is that the cameras, which will be on only during non-school hours, will deter potential thieves while providing evidence if a crime occurs, Supt. Sherine Smith said.

"They are intended to enhance campus security; we've had vandalism at the high school," she said.

Principal Joanne Culverhouse said the high school has had several thefts from the office, going back to last year.

"We've monitored the number of keys made, changed the locks and we continue to have issues," she said.

Thieves have taken cash, computers and cameras, but no student records, Culverhouse said.

Two cameras would be placed outside the administration building at 625 Park Ave., while the other two would go inside, Smith said.

The outside cameras would be restricted to recording school grounds and not pedestrians on the sidewalk or cars driving along Park Avenue, board Clerk Jan Vickers said.

These would be the first cameras installed at the high school if the board approves them at a second reading, according to Smith.

The district budgeted $20,250 for the cameras and software, Facilities Director Ted Doughty wrote in an email.

The number of reported calls to law enforcement for several crime categories at the school are at or near 2012 totals, according to Laguna Beach police statistics.

Through Oct. 10 this year, police received three calls regarding vandalism, four for theft, two for burglary and two for trespassing, according to the statistics.

In 2012, there were five calls regarding vandalism, seven for theft, two for burglary and three for trespassing, according to statistics.

These reports also include activity at the tennis courts across Park Avenue, Capt. Jason Kravetz wrote in an email.

"We have an excellent relationship with the school district and look forward to learning about their new security features so we can help each other cut down on the amount of vandalism and thefts," Kravetz said.

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