High-tech security cameras could be coming to some Chicago Public Schools.
The system would beam images directly to Chicago police, an would be installed at schools with the most security issues, in a bid to create a safer atmosphere in the nation's third-largest school district, with more than 400,000 students.
CPS Superintendent Jean Claude Brizard said the system would be worth the $7 million is would cost, even though CPS is currently experiencing a $612 million deficit.
Eighty security cameras will be installed in 14 troubled high schools in the city.
Security cameras were installed at Fenger High School in a pilot program, following the beating death of Derrion Albert in 2009.
FOX Chicago News first obtained the video of the attack caught on camera. The widely-circulated video prompted outrage nationwide and several safety measures have been instituted at the high school since then.
"Despite the tough economic times facing our district, we're taking additional steps to reduce crime and create a school environments that are safe for students and staff, which is vital for teaching and learning," Brizard said in a statement Sunday. "Enhancing and maintaining a real sense of safety and creating a positive environment within our schools is a significant tool in driving student outcomes."
Fenger has more than three dozen cameras at entrances, hallways and outside the building. Those cameras have helped police arrest a suspect in several burglaries. The school has seen a 59 percent drop in misconduct, and 79 percent drop in arrests since the security cameras were installed.
CPS could monitor those cameras, since they will be fed into nearby police stations and then linked to a city-wide network of cameras. The images can also be seen on police cell phones.
Chicago has a huge network of cameras which feed into the OEMC system, but it is a privacy issue for the ACLU.
There has also been a proposal to reduce the number of police officers present at these schools, to re-deploy them to the street. These cameras could end up replacing cops at schools.
The system is currently installed at two other schools in addition to Fenger. Under the plan, cameras would be expanded to high schools with higher numbers of arrests and misconduct cases. Schools selected to receive cameras are: Clemente, Hyde Park, Sullivan, Morgan Park, Orr, Marshall, Dunbar, Tilden, Bogan, Wells, Senn, Juarez, Julian and Farragut.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)