Big Brother keeps watch over Demarest students

A high-tech surveillance system is giving Demarest police the upper hand in protecting students.

According to Police Chief James Powderley, cameras are installed in common areas at three local schools. Police are able to monitor the real-time cameras from headquarters or their cruisers, allowing them to patrol up to 16 locations at once.

"We can change the location we're viewing," Powderley said. "We can see someone in the cafeteria, we can move to the hallways, or ? the perimeter of the building."

Councilman Bill Connelly maintains the cameras are not in restrooms and said no audio is recorded.

Fifth-grader Caitlin Reuter has seen the cameras, and she doesn't mind. "It protects the children, which is me," Reuter said. "So if it protects us, then I think it's OK."

The surveillance system, which has been in place for a month, cost the school system about $28,000.

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