Deal would allow Schaumburg police to access school cameras in emergencies

Schaumburg trustees Tuesday will consider an agreement with Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 allowing the village's police department to monitor live video from cameras at Schaumburg High School or other district buildings in an emergency.

The Schaumburg Police Department's 18-month-old Real-Time Information Center is expanding its capabilities through a recent $175,000 grant. It was created with the help of an earlier $552,000 federal grant.

Though the information center's operators can routinely monitor municipal cameras throughout the village, they won't have the same freedom with those in District 211's schools.

District 211 Superintendent Lisa Small explained that to the board of education before it approved the pending agreement on May 11.

"They are not watching constantly," Small said. "It is when an incident occurs that they become active in it. So, it could be in an emergency situation where they're notified of the situation - whether it's through us, through their own police officers who are on site - that they become viewing it live at that moment. But it's not continuous viewing of our cameras. It is only in the situations that are designated in the agreement."

Board of education members approved the agreement 6-0, with member Tim McGowan absent.

Board member Kimberly Cavill said her only concern is the automatic two-year renewal of the agreement in two years if no objections are raised. She asked Small that the board be given a heads-up when that point is reached.

Though Schaumburg High School is the only District 211 school in the village, the same access to the other schools in the district can be made under the agreement if another village seeks such assistance, Schaumburg Police Chief Bill Wolf said.

While Schaumburg doesn't have a similar agreement with Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54, the possibility could be discussed after more is learned from the District 211 partnership, he added.

With both the school district and the village having bought most of their equipment already, the cost of the agreement is minimal due to the compatible software they use, Wolf said.

Woodfield Mall has a similar agreement with the police department, he said.

If the agreement with District 211 is approved Tuesday, the ability to access live video would be available within a matter of weeks, Wolf said.

Authorities plan to expand real-time monitoring system Schaumburg police say it has already proved usefulness

Under a pending agreement, cameras at Schaumburg High School and the other schools in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 would be able to be monitored by the Schaumburg Police Department's Real-Time Information Center, but only during designated emergencies. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018
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