Auditor reviews security for 28 Knox County schools

8:00 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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Three months after the Knox County Schools superintendent ordered a review of school security, 10News has obtained the reports for the first 28 schools audited. 

We were not able to copy the completed reports, in order to share them with our viewers, but we did compile the findings from each school.  You can find those here.

The auditor, Simplex Grinnell, found problems with security cameras, motion detectors, and burglar alarm keypads at 20 of the 28 schools inspected.

But Superintendent Jim McIntyre says the audit revealed no major issues.

"It generally supports our knowledge that our security systems, generally speaking, are functioning properly and appropriately," said McIntyre.

More than 750 cameras got a physical inspection and, according to McIntyre, 2% were reported to have issues with their functionality.

For example, some of those 2% produced grainy images or no picture.

"Those are obviously the most immediate issues," said McIntyre.

The vast majority of the problems Simplex Grinnell failed the cameras for were maintenance related, such as dirty lenses, lack of focus, and readjustment of angles.

Ridgedale Alternative School was the location with the most cameras and mini-dome cameras that failed-- with a total of 17 cameras cited for issues, including one camera that didn't work.

McIntyre says the auditors found no problems with any of the schools' keyless entry systems. Not all of the schools have keyless entry systems and McIntyre said the audit did not include checking the locks of schools without the technology.

Problems with security at Powell Middle School and Hardin Valley Academy prompted this audit after the district alleged the contractor responsible for installing security equipment either shorted them, or didn't leave some technology in proper working order.

So how did those schools do? Hardin Valley Academy had three cameras that failed inspection and one burglar alarm keypad with minor issues.

Powell Middle School had a total of 10 different cameras with a variety of problems, including one mini-dome camera with no video feed.

The district received the reports on May 3, and that's when they began addressing the issues.

McIntyre recommends the district begin a regular schedule for physically inspecting all security cameras. The rest of the district's sixty schools will be audited this summer.

The estimated cost for the first portion of the audit was $16,000. They've budgeted $32,000 to complete the process.

The school system has requested money in next year's budget for upgrading many of the system's security cameras. McIntyre says many of the issues revealed in the audit stem from the fact that some of the cameras are 8-10 years old.

Click here for a full breakdown of how each school did in the audit.

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