Canyons School District finishes upgrading schools to HD security cameras

Aug 21, 2023, 1:56 PM

a man looks at security footage from a school...

Canyons School District Risk Manager Ryan Jakeman takes a look at a security camera feed. (Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE COUNTY — With safety and security at the top of many people’s minds as kids go back to school, the Canyons School District just finished upgrading the final eight of their 45 schools to high-definition security camera systems.

Canyons School District Risk Manager Ryan Jakeman told KSL that administrators can zoom in with the new 1080p cameras, plus some can move around. He also said they added more total cameras with the upgrade from the old analog models.

“It’s very expensive, but it’s well worth it,” Jakeman said.

Jakeman recounted one example where someone allegedly tagged their initials into a school sidewalk. That school had and old and new camera observing the incident. The difference was crystal clear.

“You can tell who it was on the new camera, on the old one, you could tell it was somebody… it was a person,” Jakeman said.

It took eight years for the district to get each school the new cameras, close to the time District Spokesperson Jeff Haney said they completely re-wrote their incident command manual. The updated manual called for an emergency drill at each school at least once a month.

More school security measures

Haney also said they spent the last year working to improve their security measures after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“After the tragedy in Uvalde, we did a thorough review of all of our schools… and it opened our eyes to what we needed to do,” Haney said.

Along with the cameras, Haney said the district also has:

  • Secure vestibules in each elementary and middle school.
  • Trained their employees to not prop exterior doors open, and to leave them closed and locked.
  • Made it so all school entry doors do not open without a badge and key, or if an office staff member buzzes the person in.

And while the district has taken steps to keep kids safe, Haney said they are reviewing their policies every year, and are looking to keep improving.

“We say that we think safe, and we act on that too,” Haney said.

People can find more information on school safety through the district’s website.

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Canyons School District finishes upgrading schools to HD security cameras