Watson Chapel approves new bus surveillance cameras


The Watson Chapel School Board approved the purchase of a new video surveillance system to be installed on 10 school district buses.

During the regular monthly meeting Monday night, the board acted on the recommendation of Superintendent Danny Hazelwood to accept the low bid from Seon System Sales of Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, at a price of $12,960 for 10 three-camera surveillance systems plus GPS to be installed on the 10 buses.

“It is my understanding that the very first surveillance cameras purchased by the district were for our school buses and it is these VHS tape-based cameras that we are replacing now,” Hazelwood said. “We have been doing our best to patch the old systems up but it is time to replace them. The technology has progressed tremendously. The new systems are digital and allow for the downloading of video straight to a computer.”

Hazelwood said that each system had one camera used to record traffic around the bus and two cameras to record activity inside the bus.

District transportation director Cornovious Branch said that Seon Systems was one of three bids received, with the other two coming from Central State Bus Sales of North Little Rock for $15,662.80; and Diamond State Bus Co. of Conway for $16,950.

“Our existing surveillance cameras are from Seon Systems and we have been trying out one of the new systems on a bus for the past six months,” Branch said. “An official came from their Alabama office to demonstrate the system and we have been pleased with it.”

Financial report

In other business, the board approved the November financial report read by Hazelwood.

Hazelwood reported that the district received $2,971,251 for the month ending Nov. 30 and spent $2,075,052 in the non-activity funds, leaving an ending balance of $7,890,665.

Board member recognition

Hazelwood presented board vice president Robin Barker with a lapel pin recognizing her for the completion of 50 hours of training.

Hazelwood then presented Barker, board president Sandra C. Boone, board secretary Keith Waddle, and board member Ronnie Reynolds with Certificates of Completion for three hours of training they recently received.

Personnel

Hazelwood reported that he accepted the retirement letter of Betty Anthony as elementary secretary from Coleman Intermediate School effective Dec. 21.