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The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

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New Cameras Watching LFHS

New+Cameras+Watching+LFHS
Stella Henretta

An earlier version of this story relied on outdated information. We are reposting with some important revisions. The Forest Scout regrets the errors.

While LFHS is often viewed as a prestigious, secure institution, like most schools, it’s also experienced several safety hazards and threats. With the increasing nationwide concern about school safety, LFHS has adopted a new camera system throughout the school.

Stella Henretta

Chief Technology OfficerMr. Jordan Salus detailed the integration of these new cameras.

“This was a process that began at the end of the 2021 – 2022 school year, as we knew our old system was reaching its end of life. We tried a number of camera systems in the building based on feedback from other school districts and meetings we had with various manufacturers,” said Salus.

Salus noted several features that differentiate the current cameras from the old system. The novel cameras are capable of:

  • Providing advanced analytic capabilities
  • The ability to quickly and easily provide access to external partners (like the LFPD) without requiring District 115-provided Technology
  • Providing a single system with both indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Allowing cameras to be accessible anywhere using a high-quality mobile app
  • Not requiring on-site video storage to function

These specifications make LFHS’s new system superior to what was priorly installed, giving students and staff a safer, more dependable environment.

“The old cameras had a lot of issues and the entirety of it was a very old system. We wanted a new system that covered all areas of the school. The new cameras help in many ways; like, if a student unexpectedly walks out of class, or if someone stole someone else’s property. They are super clear and the system that runs them is really reliable,” said Officer Mark Long of Lake Forest Police Department.

“The cameras have definitely resolved issues like theft, vandalism, and harassment. The camera system is used almost daily for multiple reasons, and it could help us realize someone did something they shouldn’t have, as well as exonerate someone if they were blamed for something they didn’t do,” said Long.

Stella Henretta

Long also gave his opinion on whether the new cameras would have assisted the LFPD in their investigation of the bullet found in the library last October.

“We could have seen who was in the library at that exact time. In rare, but dangerous and time-sensitive situations like that, a quick solution is essential to keep anyone within close proximity of the issue safe,” said Long. 

Despite the benefits of these cameras, some people have expressed opposition to their implementation – the majority being students. 

“They’re invading my privacy. I feel like I am being constantly watched closely for no reason. The years prior to this, I didn’t have to experience that problem,” said junior Bella Greazel. 

However, Long defends the school-wide camera implementation.

“The cameras aren’t there to monitor someone; instead, they’re used as an investigative tool for me, my fellow staff and the deans, meaning they are usually reviewed for minor discipline reasons. Essentially, they are installed as a safety measure, not to target kids and get them in trouble,” said Long.

On the other hand, English teacher Mr. Brad Ruda had no opposition to the camera installation; instead, he voiced his disappointment that they were necessary in the first place. 

“In comparison to the days when I first began teaching here and there were no cameras, it meant that I was trusted and that we, as students and faculty, could be trusted. There was freedom. However, I understand the need for cameras with the increasing number of unfortunate events that have begun to sweep the nation’s schools. So today, I feel good about the cameras as there is a level of protection that we didn’t have before,” said Ruda.

Schools, both locally and nationally, are looking to install similar technology as LFHS.

“The only thing about cameras is that once you install them, even ten years from now, it’s tough to switch to a new system. There will always be something newer and better at all times, so we will constantly have to update our technology to stay ahead of the game,” said Long.

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About the Contributor
Stella Henretta
Stella Henretta, Staff Writer
 During the fall, junior Stella Henretta's committed to Varsity tennis, but switches gears to lacrosse during the spring. On weekends, Stella works as a coach at GLASA to help disabled athletes play tennis. She’s also a cashier at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s cafe, where she loves to take walks among the flowers after her shift. This school year, she hopes that through her cumulative experiences and knowledge, she will be successful in providing her readers with information about events happening both in and out of LFHS!
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  • A

    a new cameraSep 25, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    I’m watching you.

    Reply