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Naperville Eyes Enhanced School Security — On Officials’ Phones

District 203 administrators will get live camera feeds on their phones

Administrators at some Naperville schools soon will be able to keep an eye on things whether they’re across the building or across the country.

Naperville Unit District 203 plans to allow administrators access to live security camera images from mobile devices such as iPads and smartphones. The program also will give police the ability to log into the camera feeds in the event of an emergency.

Chief Information Officer Roger Brunelle said the goal is to “enable us to respond quicker in a crisis mode.”

The district currently has 65 security cameras at Naperville Central High School and about 25 at Naperville North. The cameras are in common areas such as lobbies, hallways, cafeterias and stairways, and are primarily used to review what happened after an incident occurs. To gain access, an administrator must be on a laptop with the right software and logged onto the district’s network, according to Chris Kunzer, who manages telecommunications for District 203.

The new program, LexRay from Lextech Labs in Lisle, would allow access through an app on a mobile device. The app would be available to selected personnel such as principals, deans, campus security officers and building managers.

Brunelle stressed the potential value for police to see live images in an emergency.

“If by some turn of events there was something like a shooter walking the halls, we could hit a button and they could access cameras and find out what hall they were in, where they were headed,” he said.

School Board President Mike Jaensch called the system “well worthwhile” and board member Terry Fielden, who helped pilot the program, said he finds comfort in the instant access for administrators and police.

“It’s unfortunate you have to feel that way these days, but it seems like almost every day on the news there’s more reason why you need it,” Fielden said.

The district plans to use $80,000 in this year’s budget to replace the 25 current cameras at North to make them compatible with the new system. In next year’s budget, which begins July 1, they will spend $100,000 to add about 40 more cameras at North and 10 at junior high schools as a pilot program. Those cameras should all be installed by the start of the school year.

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