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APS orders 70 new cameras to equip its buses

Emily Jaceks
October 19, 2017 05:47 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It’s a disturbing sight when children get into fights on school buses.

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It’s also a sickening feeling for parents who know their children are being picked on each day, like one Shiprock mother who can be seen, via camera footage, going as far as confronting her son’s attacker.

“I’m filing charges against you,” she can be heard saying. “You’re just a bully on this bus.”

But officials of Albuquerque Public Schools are hoping parents can rest a bit easier knowing their children are at least a little safe on their commute, with extra eyes now surveilling them.

70 new cameras have been ordered by APS for the district’s fleet of buses, and will soon be installed on them.

“One, it provides for the students, as well as the safety of our drivers. It also allows school personnel to look at the bigger picture when there’s a need for intervention, when there’s a problem on the bus,” said Scott Elder, chief operating officer for the district. 

Those buses will join the 30 others already equipped with cameras. Elder said their presence alone is a deterrent for trouble.

“We’ve seen decreases in vandalism, specifically,” he said.

The cameras will have four angles on each bus and will be pointed at both the driver and students en route to school.

They’re not cheap, with a total price tag of $190,000, but school officials say they won’t cost taxpayers a dime. They are being funded by the money raised from providing rides to and from the Balloon Fiesta.

For now, APS officials say they are determining which routes are seeing the most problems. Those are the buses that will get cameras first. As for the long-term, there are plans to install cameras on all APS buses.

When exactly that happens depends on funding.

Credits

Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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