Florida District Approves Spending Up to $1 Million on Bus Cameras

Palm Beach County is purchasing and installing AngelTrax's RC2500 PeriOptic cameras.

The Palm Beach County School District voted on May 13 to enter into a contract with video surveillance provider AngelTrax to install digital cameras on every school bus by the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The school board will spend up to $1 million on cameras to better monitor the students who ride the district’s 600 buses.

Recently the district also approved replacing 114 older buses that it said keep breaking down with brand-new buses for the next school year. Calls to the school transportation department were not returned at press time.

Mike Burke, the district’s chief operating officer, said in a local news report that all the new buses will come equipped with AngelTrax’s surveillance cameras and the company will also install the equipment on existing buses. The digital cameras will be able to store footage that can be retrieved each day after buses complete their routes, Burke said.

While the contract is for up to $1 million as a maximum price, the price has not been finalized so it could be lower, as district officials already negotiated the top price down by about $543,000, Burke added.

Palm Beach County School District Police Chief Lawrence Leon said the fleet’s current onboard cameras are a mix of digital recorders and older cameras that record to VHS tapes.

The new AngelTrax cameras will all be digital in order to provide a “much crisper” picture, allow more data storage and record for longer periods of time, Leon noted.

Last November, AngelTrax released a new line of high-definition onboard interior and exterior cameras. Engineered to deliver exceptional picture and sound quality for transit applications, the AngelTrax HD camera line includes nine cameras with varying fields of view ranging from focused 20-degree to wide-angle 120-degree capture.