SAFE SCHOOLS

Orem PD gains live remote access to Orem HS surveillance cameras

May 30, 2018, 12:15 AM | Updated: 1:28 am

OREM, Utah – Officers know any amount of time they can trim off the response to an active shooter can potentially save lives, and Tuesday Orem police and Orem High School made public a new capability they hope will make a difference when there are dire circumstances.

Lt. Craig Martinez said the department will now have live access to all of Orem High’s surveillance cameras when there is a major incident or other emergency, with police able to access the individual video feeds from the station, or from tablets and mobile devices.

“We’re really excited that Alpine School District was able to make this happen,” Martinez said.

“We’ll be able to give, say for instance, our SWAT team members real-time information.”

Alpine School District spokesperson Kimberly Bird said the district hoped to have the system working at its other high schools within the coming months and junior highs and elementary schools sometime further into the future.

Orem High Principal Mike Browning said improving the school’s security had been a significant focus over the past seven years, and he said the ability to offer police live remote viewing access to the surveillance cameras would be an upgrade.

“This is on my second floor,” Browning said, referencing one of the several available video feeds. “(Police) could see if there’s somebody up there with a weapon.”

Martinez and Browning acknowledged some might raise privacy concerns about the police access, but Browning noted only certain officers and dispatchers would have access to the system and access would require a login and password.

Browning said any recordings would be the school’s property and officers would have to follow standard legal protocols to obtain any video that is not viewed live during an emergency or other significant police matter.

“This is a less-intrusive way to help us do a better job,” Martinez said.

Browning, who is moving on to the district office from his role as principal, said his next job would put him in a position to continue to help Alpine School District implement the system district-wide.

“Seconds count,” Browning said. “So, we’re chopping every second we can count.”

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Orem PD gains live remote access to Orem HS surveillance cameras