As part of a sweeping effort to update the security of Plano ISD campuses, the board of trustees approved a $2.7 million expenditure to update its video surveillance systems throughout the district over the next year and a half at its meeting Tuesday.
Superintendent Sara Bonser told Community Impact Newspaper in a separate interview the district also plans to install new public-address systems over the summer in the senior high schools as a part of an effort to re-evaluate the security of its facilities. The public-address systems will broadcast a message in the event of an emergency.
The funds for the video surveillance update come from a combination of bond and operating funds, according to a district-prepared document.
The update comes after the Plano City Council passed an expenditure March 26 that will help fund the addition of 15 new school-stationed officers—sometimes referred to as school resource officers—to Plano campuses.
PISD is expected to reimburse the city of Plano for half of the bill—roughly $1.3 million—for the 24 school resource officers and one sergeant, according to a city-prepared document.
“I don’t think you can really quantify the good that school resource officers do, above and beyond security in the schools,” Plano Police Chief Greg Rushin said in a presentation at a March 20 City Council meeting. “They have a lot of other functions as well.”
Those functions, Rushin said, include the officers advising on school-related traffic safety and crime prevention, providing counseling services to students and participating in parent conferences.
Trustees will be briefed on the plan for the additional school resource officers, as well as its budgetary effects at the April 24 meeting.