Campus cameras to be aimed at vandals

Ramping up its efforts to reduce property loss on its campuses, the La Cañada Unified School District will install up to 10 security cameras at all four school sites as early as this summer.

“We are concerned with the vandalism that is going on at the sites,” said Mike Leininger, the district’s assistant superintendent of facilities and operations. “There has been an increase in the theft of copper and brass with the economy going down.”

Leininger recalls an incident at the beginning of this year where some brass and large copper pipes were installed. A short time afterward, the pipes vanished.

“We didn’t even have time to put a cage around [the installation],” Leininger said.

It’s been a goal of the school board to add security cameras to its schools for the past two years, but it’s becoming a reality this year because the district finished other construction work under budget, thanks to a favorable bid market, Leininger said. He expects the camera installations will take place in August, after summer school is finished.

School board member Joel Peterson said the district is looking at utilizing wireless cameras that will be of high enough quality to detect facial features for easy identification, he said.

“It will make the campuses safer and if someone does do damage, we will be able to detect it sooner and act on it,” Peterson said. “If we don’t make it there in time to catch them in the act, we will still be able to catch them and use the tape as evidence.”

Board President Susan Boyd agreed.

“If it doesn’t [deter them], hopefully the cameras will identify who the people are and that will go toward catching them and having them pay back the district for the damage they do to our property,” Boyd said.

District staff is currently in the process of evaluating bids for the project. Leininger will return to the school board with a report at the June 21 meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. and is held in the district’s round building, located at 4490 Cornishon Ave.

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