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Surveillance cameras, metal detectors in US schools

The Township Council has awarded a contract to an Ocean County company for new video surveillance equipment for the Lenape Regional High School District.North American Video Inc. of Brick Township was the lowest bidder in the amount of $134,321.

The video cameras will be paid for with funds from the federal Secure Our Schools grant program.

Medford and Evesham townships applied for the grants on the district’s behalf, according to Katherine Burger, Medford’s chief financial officer.

Lenape and Shawnee High schools in Medford and Cherokee High School in Evesham will receive the new equipment under the grants. The Lenape district will pay for the new surveillance equipment for Seneca High School in Tabernacle, said Keith Patterson, the district’s director of technology.

Patterson said each of the four high schools will have video cameras installed outside of the buildings, in addition to the existing video cameras.

“Anything that will help enhance the safety and security at the schools is very important to us,” Patterson said.

Secure Our Schools grants are administered by the office of U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services. The Secure our Schools initiative gives grantees the opportunity to establish and enhance school safety equipment and programs.

Besides surveillance cameras, the grants help cover the cost of metal detectors, locks, lighting, security assessments, security training for students and personnel, and coordination with local law enforcement.

Since 2002, nearly 80 Secure Our School grants, worth more than $6 million, have been awarded to state law enforcement agencies and school districts.

North American Video is a national security systems integration contractor, according to its Web site. It provides consultation, design and installation services for video surveillance equipment for casinos, corporations, retail, banking and financial institutions, as well as schools.

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