Concerned about the worsening epidemic of campus violence in the U.S., employees of a Schaumburg-based security company installed new security cameras at two suburban schools Friday and made other safety improvements at no cost to taxpayers.
The work at Whittier Elementary School in Waukegan and Katzenmaier Academy in North Chicago was done as part of Convergint Technologies‘ new STEP Up initiative. The program, an acronym for Secure, Train, Educate and Protect, aims to boost security at poorer schools.
“(They) just don’t have the budgets and the wherewithal to get that done,” said Tony Varco, vice president of Convergint’s security division.
In addition to installing new cameras, the crews repaired existing equipment, wired cameras to office monitors and even did landscaping work to improve what cameras can see.
“The technology is only as good as its ability to do what it was intended to do,” Varco said.
Convergint employees also volunteered at schools in Georgia, Ohio and Texas on Friday as part of the STEP Up launch, which was held on a day the company annually dedicates to community work.
Varco was particularly moved to action by February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead and 17 wounded.
Varco noted police in Parkland didn’t have access to live video of what was happening in the school during the massacre and didn’t have accurate, timely information as a result.