New Hampshire District Considering Exterior Cameras

New Hampshire District Considering Exterior Cameras

“I believe the exterior cameras would allow the administration to see anybody entering and exiting any door on the exterior of the buildings,” Superintendent Mike Fournier said.

Bedford School District’s new interim superintendent has proposed installing exterior cameras at every district campus.

Superintendent Mike Fournier has recommended the purchase and installation of 45 cameras outside of McKelvie Intermediate School and the three local elementary schools. The high school and middle school campuses already have exterior cameras installed.

The security cameras would cost about $85,000. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Department of Education approved the district’s application for a grant from the Public School Infrastructure Fund, which would cover about $68,000 of the camera costs, Fournier said. The district would be responsible for the remaining $17,000.

“That grant would cover both exterior and interior cameras, but I know this board has had substantial conversations about interior (cameras), so I have removed those from the conversation,” Fournier said when he made his proposal Tuesday. “We are only talking exterior cameras.”

When asked why school officials were not also considering the installation of cameras inside of the schools, school board member Cindy Chagnon said the board had discussed the issue during a rash of bathroom vandalism at the high school last year.

“Many people in this community were violently opposed and felt that this was an invasion of privacy,” Chagnon said of interior cameras, adding the board previously opted not to take that course of action.

According to Fournier, there is an expiration date for using the grant funds, and he is not sure the board would have time to reconsider interior cameras and make a decision in time.

“I believe the exterior cameras would allow the administration to see anybody entering and exiting any door on the exterior of the buildings,” Fournier said. “Given all the folks that I have spoken to in the field, I am recommending that we do this.”

The school board has not yet voted on the proposal but is expected to review Fournier’s request once officials locate the additional $17,000 in funding within the district budget.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.