SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Poway Unified School District is in the midst of a multi-million dollar project to improve security at its dozens of campuses.
All six high schools now have high-tech new security camera systems, which give greater coverage and detail than the previous systems. The next phase will see cameras added at all middle schools, while a third phase will install systems at all elementary schools.
Other improvements include additional security guards and fencing. PUSD has also created a new safety committee, which includes administrators, teachers, law enforcement, and parents. The committee will come up with several new ideas to be implemented. More than 100 parents showed up to volunteer at the first meeting Tuesday night.
"The input of our families, our parents, and our guardians is critical," PUSD School Board President T.J. Zane tells 10News. "They need to feel and know that their concerns surrounding the safety of their students are being taken seriously. And if they have a good idea, we want to hear it."
Administrators point out that safety goes beyond physical improvements to the campus. While giving 10News a tour of improvements at Mt. Carmel High School, Principal Greg Magno said the most important part of keeping the school safe is successful outreach to students.
"That, to me, is the most important piece, that you're going to kids who will come out and tell you about their problems, or their issues, or the things that they're encountering on campus or off campus."
PUSD has allocated an additional $2 million for campus security and plans to increase its annual safety budget.