Cleveland seeks upgrade of school bus video system

Cleveland seeks upgrade of school bus video system

February 9th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Ted Estrada, Cleveland City Schools current bus driver of the year, gets ready Tuesday for a field trip to the Museum Center at Five Points. City school buses have aging security cameras, school officials say, and they are seeking an upgrade.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - City school system buses have aging security cameras on board and need an upgrade, school officials say.

This week, invitations will go out to bid on components for the upgrade. Vendors can get specifications at the system's central office.

"We have videocameras on the buses now, but the technology is getting a little old," Paul Ramsey, energy conservation manager with the school system, told the school board Monday. "We are having issues with some of it. ... So it definitely needs updating."

The board heard Sprint representatives Everly Galang and C. Scott Baker describe the next generation of school bus security. With a full system of surveillance, tracking and monitoring, the vehicle becomes a "smart bus," they said.

Ramsey said Tuesday the system is looking for a simpler - and less expensive - upgrade.

The purchase would come from money the system has on hand from a previous grant, he said.

Schools Director Rick Denning said local schools have not experienced the dangerous incidents reported nationally on some school buses, but the cameras can confirm incidents of bad behavior.

"Your kid cuts up and comes home and says he's innocent," Denning said. "We can show the video and the parent can see for themselves that the child was not an angel that day on the bus."

Richard Shaw asked fellow board members to consider upgraded camera systems in specifications for new buses in the future.

"Factory installed could be cheaper than retrofitting," Shaw said.