Four Novato middle schools will soon have security cameras, part of an ongoing effort to reduce vandalism on school property.
Hamilton School will get ten security cameras, San Jose Middle School eight, Sinaloa 17 and Hill Education Center 13, said Dave Ashe, construction manager for the Novato Unified School District.
The 48 cameras come at a cost of $116,000, being paid from the district's facilities fund.
Novato High and San Marin already have security cameras, placed last August and which school staff credit with reducing vandalism.
"Before kids would get into the grounds yard (where landscaping and other supplies are held at Novato High) and wreak havoc," Ashe said. "That's been reduced since cameras were put in place."
San Marin Assistant Principal Mike Casper agrees.
"They're not the end all, be all to catching everything, but if something happens, we can go and review the footage. It's more of a deterrent so that students might think twice before doing something at school or at nights or weekends."
The security cameras will also help with disciplinary issues, according to Ashe.
"If there's a student fight, there's a documented record of what happened," he said.
The number of cameras at each school vary, depending on the layout of the campus. Cameras will be placed in hallways, cafeteria, playground areas and approaches to the school. None will be placed in classrooms.
Security cameras will also be installed at Novato's elementary schools as funds become available.
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