FARMINGTON, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Farmington School Board has voted to replace old security cameras throughout the district with Verkada cameras and environmental sensors.
Jarod Morrison, the Director of Maintenance and Technology for Farmington Public Schools, brought the proposal before the board. The equipment from GHA technologies will fund 180 cameras and 16 sensors— altogether totaling $404,145 and some change.
The total will be paid on a 5-year lease with 0% financing and a one dollar buyout option.
Some of the main benefits of the system include 24/7 recording, web-based access from anywhere, facial and vehicle recognition, fast and easy search/scan features, and heat maps for identifying over-crowded areas. Farmington High School Principle, Jon Purifoy, said he’s particularly excited about the tracking system.
“This one, if you just give a small description of the individual, you can track him immediately. It will follow him throughout the entire building, wherever he goes, without having to switch from a different camera,” said Purifoy.
The environmental sensors will be able to detect bad air quality, excessive chemicals in the air, vaping, and noise levels.
The Verkada security cameras are expected to fix certain issues the district had with current cameras, such as a lack of centralized monitoring, storage issues, complex applications, bandwidth strain and server breakdowns.
“The ones that we have right now— tracking someone is very difficult,” said Purifoy.
Farmington Fire Chief, William Hellard, is a parent of a child that attends Farmington High School. He said he’s always been happy with the work the school puts into the safety of its students and staff.
“Farmington schools have always done a lot to have the best interest of the students and the safety of the students in mind,” said Hellard.
According to Purifoy, there are quite a few other safety measures in place at Farmington High School.
“We’ve got the Nightlocks, we’ve got the safety glass, we’ve got the shades that pull down for all of our kids safety— and that’s the utmost importance to us,” said Purifoy.
The school district also conducts lockdown and emergency trainings that help educate students, staff, and emergency personnel on what to do if there is an emergency situation. Hellard said he believes if anything were to happen, the Farmington emergency responders would be able to take control of the situation.
“We’re all very comfortable in knowing our roles if we did have to respond to this type of incident,” said Hellard.
Purifoy said the new security cameras could arrive at the schools as early as next month.