OPELOUSAS — The St. Landry Parish School Board moved forward Thursday on plans to install security camera systems at seven of the district’s rural school campuses.
The board agreed to accept a $91,000 federal grant through the Sheriff’s Office to help pay the costs of the installations and awarded the $146,059 contract for the security equipment to Louisiana Special Systems.
Schools to receive the security devices are Washington Elementary, Northwest High, Plaisance Elementary, North Central High, Grand Prairie Elementary, Lawtell Elementary and Beau Chene High.
The equipment includes hi-resolution cameras, digital video recorders, flat screen monitors and power supplies.
Representatives from Louisiana Special Systems told the board that most of the installation work will be done during the Christmas break or after schools dismiss for the day.
School officials did not indicate at the meeting whether there were any particular security issues at the campuses scheduled to receive the equipment.
The district pursued the grant after school officials were notified by the Sheriff’s Office that federal funds were available.
In a letter from school district Finance Director Tressa Miller to Superintendent Edward Brown released Thursday, Miller wrote that in her opinion, replacing broken windows at the schools could be included for reimbursement through that grant.
Board member Milton Ambres asked why no schools inside Opelousas city limits were selected for the security equipment.
Assistant Superintendent Joseph Cassimere said because the grant money was being obtained with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office, the matter was being restricted to schools outside the city limits.
Although Washington Elementary is just north of the town’s municipal limits, Cassimere said, it qualified for the grant funds because sheriff’s deputies routinely respond to calls made for assistance at the school.