In a cramped room at Austin school district police headquarters, several pairs of eyes roam across the rows of security-camera screens, on the lookout for anything amiss.
Even with 3,100 security cameras keeping an eye on the district’s 86,600 students, there are blind spots. Eliminating them has become a priority in recent weeks, with the district shifting money to buy more cameras and fix the broken ones, among other security improvements.
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Security changes proposed at Central Texas school districts:
Austin: Installing panic buttons; adding new locks and security cameras; considering additional police officers.
Bastrop: Installing Raptor, a system that conducts an onsite criminal background/sex offender check, in all schools (previously the system was only at elementary campuses); upgrading existing camera systems; considering panic buttons and retrofitting school entrances.
Eanes: Purchasing an emergency notification system for broadcasts to parents, students and staff; considering adding fencing to an elementary school.
Hutto: Adding additional police officers on campus so two are at the high school, and one at each middle school.
Lake Travis: Installing panic buttons; adding security cameras; retrofitting one elementary school entrance with a vestibule; fencing all elementary school playgrounds; adding more keyless entries.
Manor: Increasing the number of lockdown drills at schools; considering electric buzzers that require visitors to be buzzed into the main building from the school office.
Round Rock: Retrofitting entrances of 23 schools with vestibules; considering adding more security cameras and electronic locks.