The Horry County school board on Monday voted to spend $436,538 to upgrade old bus surveillance cameras.
According to the district, 250 cameras had “reached the end of their useful life” and needed to be replaced with new cameras, which school board Chairman Joe DeFeo said would be “high-definition,” as opposed to the old cameras.
School spokeswoman Teal Britton on Thursday couldn’t say how long the old cameras had been in use.
She said the school district hasn’t used any studies to determine the effectiveness of cameras at preventing bad behavior.
“Where they’re most effective is dealing with disciplinary issues,” said Britton. “Being able to go back and pull that video often helps to identify the persons involved. If it’s a study in terms of what it does for preventative purposes, I wouldn’t know how to answer that. It’s there for preventative purposes.”
Britton said said that cameras are used “all the time” during investigations into incidents that can occur on buses, but couldn’t provide a specific example.
“Having a background in law enforcement, and I’m using that as an example, I believe it keeps not only suspects in check to a degree, but police officers in check,” said DeFeo. “And this is for everybody to keep in check. Years ago when I was a police officer in new jersey, when we were videotaping stuff, you knew you were on camera. I believe it makes a difference to everybody. You’re not going to be able to walk out and say ‘I didn’t do that.’”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian