CLARKS GREEN — There is additional security throughout Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, thanks to the donation of seven cameras by Johnson Controls, a national security system based in Allentown. The cameras are Hik-Vision exir-turret network cameras and are installed in the school’s interior hallways and outside doors of the cafeteria. They were installed by Custom Computers, which performs IT work for Johnson Controls.
The cameras have an app called Hik-Connect, which is connected to the telephone and computer of Clarks Summit Police Chief Chris Yarns. If Yarns receives a call from the school, he can now see what’s inside the school building areas, where there are cameras, on his phone or computer at the police station.
“So, if there was a situation at school or if there was a lockdown in the school for some reason, the authorities would be able to see what’s happening inside the school now,” said Paul Refice, local accounts manager of Johnson Controls.
Before this new security system, Our Lady of Peace only had security cameras, which monitored the parking lot and front entrance. When principal Colleen Jumper gave Clarks Green Councilman Dave Rinaldi a tour of the school in March, Rinaldi noticed many areas of the building were not monitored by camera.
Rinaldo asked Jumper for more camera, but she replied the school didn’t have budget funds to enhance the security system. Therefore, Rinaldi asked his friend Refice if his company Johnson Controls would donate the equipment.
“There was a need,” said Rinaldi. “We found an opportunity to help and we acted on it.”
Refice agreed to it since his company has already assisted the school by installing a fire alarm annunciator.
“Johnson Controls has programs to help out schools in need,” he said.
Rinaldi set up a meeting with Refice and Jumper, a meeting that resulted in Johnson Controls agreeing to donate seven cameras to Our Lady of Peace.
“It’s incredibly generous,” said Jumper. “We are truly grateful for the partnership of the community. We have pretty good coverage of all different areas of the school, so we can ensure the kids’ safety.”
Chief Yarns commends Jumper for consenting to a more advanced security system.
“I commend the principal taking a proactive stand,” he said. “The cameras are going to benefit the school in many ways. It gives the school staff an opportunity to view activity inside as well as outside the school. If there is a complaint, we can bring it up right away.”
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