Smile for the cameras: the school’s security system

Will Zhou, Author

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Most cameras were placed years ago, but recently, the Media Arts Center has been fitted with cameras.“The cameras in the MAC were put in over winter break,” Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said. “There are eight.” Photo by William Zhou.

According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, most cameras were placed years ago, but recently, the Media Arts Center has been fitted with cameras. “The cameras in the MAC were put in over winter break,” Berkson said. “There are eight.” Photo by William Zhou.

As busy Palo Alto High School students move around the campus, they may not notice that cameras are constantly recording them.

According to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, cameras are spread out around the school.

“They are all over, in various locations, like the Media Arts Center, hallways and construction zones,” Berkson said.

The cameras are there for security, according to Berkson.

“For the MAC, we have a lot of money invested in it, so it is important that the place is secure,” Berkson said. “There’s a decent amount of independence in there, and it is just helpful to keep an eye on things.”

The cameras have helped the administration with investigations in the past.

“Different theft-related cases have been solved with the help of the cameras,” Berkson said.

“There are cameras?” junior Tyler Lee said. “I guess they are good because  it prevents theft since the thieves will be captured and humiliated.”

Several cameras are located in the MAC while others, are in the gym hallway. “There are cameras?” junior Tyler Lee said. “I guess they are good because [they] prevent theft since the thieves will be captured and humiliated.”

While the cameras are always recording, they are not being monitored at all times, according to Berkson.

“No one is constantly monitoring them,” Berkson said. “It’s more like if something happens, we can go back to the cameras and take a look.”

Junior Tyler Lee says he feels safer with the cameras constant recording.

“I don’t feel uncomfortable,” Lee said. “I actually feel [safer] because you know your stuff is safe.”

Other students, like freshman Cory O’Farrell, however, think that the cameras are both good and bad.

“I don’t have a problem with the cameras, but I don’t like cameras watching me,” O’Farrell said. “But I also think they’re good when [theft] happens.”

According to Berkson, “[the administration] currently does not have plans to install more cameras.”