Newly-installed security cameras on a school campus in San Diego were highlighted in a visit from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer Thursday.
Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan has close to a dozen security cameras recording movements on campus around the clock.
Principal Fernando Hernandez said the school just got the surveillance system because San Diego Unified School District applied for more than $1 million in federal grant money.
“It is a visual deterrent but it does provide another sense of security,” he said. “Parents feel their students are safer at school.”
The cameras will be phased over time until every school in SDUSD has the cameras the principal said.
Boxer applauded SDUSD a district that “really stepped up to the plate” during her visit to promote legislation that would expand the federal grant program for school safety.
“If you look at these cameras they make a difference,” she said.
Boxer wants Congress to extend the Justice Department's Secure Our Schools program so schools can install locks or lighting or add fences around campuses.
“I hope people will look at this school district and recognize we have to do more to protect our kids.”
Boxer’s visit coincided with the release of search warrant information in the recent Newtown, Conn. massacre.
“The killer at Sandy Hook took 5 minutes to kill 26 innocents. Five minutes,” Boxer said. “Think of the hours and years of love that he slaughtered.”
While she supports more resource officers for schools, Boxer said there’s no single solution for all school districts.
The proposed legislation is being considered by the Senate in April.
Ed. Note: We originally reported the cameras were part of a new program. There are currently 75 schools in San Diego with security cameras paid for by federal grants and funds from Prop Z and Prop S. We regret the error.