Students in a Cheboygan County school better be on their best behavior back from break because the eye in the sky doesn't lie.
Cheboygan Middle School installed new security cameras over the holiday break to record what happens in its halls.
"Ultimately, it's going to be a good tool for us to stop some of the nuisance behaviors and just increase school safety," explains Cheboygan Middle School Assistant Principal Mark Oberman.
Cheboygan Middle School doors give a fair warning right away. Thereâ??s an eye in the sky that never sleeps and video on demand with a simple click.
â??This is the first day we've really been using it, and so far, so good, we've found it's pretty easy to click on a hallway and bring up what you need to bring up," says Oberman.
17 security cameras are recording down every hallway, in the cafeteria, and monitoring the doors that shouldn't be used during school. For two years, Oberman has been working hard to get cameras installed. The $1,500 system was paid for by grants and seized drug money from the county.
â??We can now just pull up a camera, and this happened at this time, and there you are doing what you said you were doing, and that's the end of the story," says Oberman.
One of the advantages of this new system is school officials can connect to it remotely. I talked to the school resource officer, who told me that's a huge plus, because if there's a worst case scenario happening inside the building, like a school shooting, he can actually pull up a video on his cell phone and pinpoint exactly where it's happening."
"Make sure their child is safe between the hours of 7 and 3, and this is just another tool to make sure that happens," explains Deputy Ron Fenlon of the Cheboygan County Sheriffâ??s Office and the school resource officer
Fenlon says it's not going to monitor every move, but with a school size of 560 students and only 50 adult staff, it may help deter vandalism and bullying.
"Just another safety feature, so if there was anything wrong in a matter of he said, she said, they could say here's the tape, here's our evidence, and case closed," says Diane Schoolcraft, a parent in support of the new system.
Similar systems have been set up in Cheboygan High School and on the buses. Cheboyganâ??s superintendent says both of those areas have seen fewer problems.
We contacted other districts in our areas. Places like Traverse City and Cadillac have security networks already in place.
Petoskey Schools says it hopes to put cameras in the near future.