Cops, Firefighters to Have Eyes Inside Richardson Schools

Emergency responders to get access to school district's surveillance cameras

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    Richardson ISD is the latest district to allow emergency responders to tap into surveillance cameras to keep students safe while at school.

    Beginning next school year, police and firefighters will have access to school surveillance cameras.

    The Richardson Independent School District has more than 1,300 cameras inside and outside of its schools and administration buildings. Emergency responders will be able to access the cameras at buildings within the city of Richardson.

    The school district includes Richardson, parts of Dallas and parts of Garland.

    Richardson School Surveillance

    [DFW] Richardson School Surveillance
    Police and firefighters will be able to monitor Richardson schools with a laptop.

    "We're going to see how well this works -- and we think it will -- and then we'll approach the city of Dallas next to see if we can begin the process with them," said Tim Clark, RISD spokesman.

    The Frisco Independent School District launched a similar program last year.

    The laptop mounted inside a Richardson Fire Department's battalion chief unit will let crews see what's going on inside the buildings.

    "Besides for the life safety aspect of the students, there's a life safety aspect for the firefighters, because we can take a look at the camera and determine how far a fire has advanced, how far the smoke has advanced and what's in the area," said Fire Chief Allen Palomba.

    The police and fire departments will be given administrative access to the school district's cameras.

    "The more we learned about it, the happier and more excited everyone got about it as we learned that their technology meshed with our technology," Clark said.

    Because the technology is compatible, the pilot program won't cost the RISD or the fire and police departments a dime.

    "This is a free opportunity to have access to these cameras, which can give us some very valuable information," Palomba said.

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