1.25.22 – Tap Into Westfield – WESTFIELD, NJ
Under an agreement with the school board, the Westfield Police Department will have greater access to school security cameras.
The Westfield Board of Education on Jan. 18 approved a “live streaming video memorandum of understanding” with the police department that details the situations in which the police department would be permitted to access the live feeds.
“They would be able to have access to eyes inside the school before they enter it,” González said. “So, in the middle of the night if there is an alarm that goes off, they wouldn’t have to enter the school blindly.”
This principle would also apply in an emergency during school hours, he said.
“In the event of any unwanted intruder or any violent act that requires an immediate response by law enforcement, they would have the ability to have eyes on scene,” González said.
The agreement defines an emergency situation as that which poses “an imminent threat to the life, safety, health or property of the district’s facilities, its students, staff and other occupants.”
The agreement, however, requires permission of school officials prior to police accessing cameras for non-emergency situations. The agreement balances law enforcement needs against the rights to student privacy under the law, González said.
“We also want to be able to recognize that there’s also the potential for those images to be considered student records as well as we have students walking around enjoying the benefits of being educated in a public school,” he said.
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