The Hannibal public school district’s most heavily monitored building is the Hannibal Career and Technical Center (HCTC). Roger McGregor, director of the HCTC, says the 16-camera system he purchased two years ago has proven to a valuable tool.


The Hannibal public school district’s most heavily monitored building is the Hannibal Career and Technical Center (HCTC). Roger McGregor, director of the HCTC, says the 16-camera system he purchased two years ago has proven to a valuable tool.
“It’s very good at allowing us to see what has transpired. It lets you go back and view a situation that happened that myself or one of the teachers didn’t see,” said McGregor, whose system cost approximately $5,000. “Once students know they’re there they don’t abuse things, they don’t vandalize things, they’re not getting in other students’ lockers. It’s eliminated a lot of the little discipline issues throughout the building.”
The benefits do not end there.
“Probably the most important thing it gives us a record of who comes in our building, any time day or night,” added McGregor. “If we find there’s someone in our building that shouldn’t be there we can find where they came in, where they’ve gone, where they’ve been and where they’re at.”
The cameras do not just allow building officials to monitor what’s happening inside.
“We had a couple of students vandalize the high school and Annex one night and we caught those students. That happened at night and by 9 o’clock the next morning, because we picked them up on video tape and somebody was able to identify them, the students were apprehended and they weren’t even Hannibal students.
“I think it’s been well worth the cost that we’ve put in.”
Unlike some security camera systems, whose images can be extremely grainy, the HCTC’s video is quite sharp.
“A lot of it depends upon how many frames per second you’re recording. The more frames per second you’re recording the better your picture is, but the more memory it takes,” said McGregor. “If you want to back up 30 days of video and you’re running real high definition you’ve got to have tons of memory in your hard drive.”
Recorded images at the HCTC are retained for approximately a month, which McGregor says is a sufficient amount of time.
“What we’ve found for the most part is if something happens we usually know about it within a couple of days so we can go back and look at that,” he said.
If the school board purchases a district-wide system the HCTC’s system could receive an upgrade.
“I think what will happen is they will come in and evaluate our system and determine how it interfaces with the district’s system,” said McGregor. “Our cameras for the most part are analog cameras. The cameras they’re looking at I think are digital cameras. The digital camera gives you a lot more flexibility. It will zoom in and zoom out even after the fact on something that is recorded. There is a possibility that they would come in and systematically replace our analog cameras with digital cameras and then run it over our same system.”