Pitt County to decide on installation of bus cameras

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) -- $1.5 million - that's how much it's expected to cost to install cameras on each Pitt County school bus.

The Board of Education will decide on Monday whether or not to move forward with the project. Three cameras would be installed at the back of the bus, the front and the middle, all to ensure student safety.

"I believe there should be cameras on the bus to better monitor the children's behavior as well as hold some of the student's accountable," said Montrell Morrow, a second-grade elementary school teacher.

"I think it would be good for the kids - to be able to watch and monitor more, so we can kind of see what's going on," said parent Ashley Jones.

Some teachers and parents said they are on board when it comes to installing updated cameras on each of the 300 buses in Pitt County. Bus drivers 9 On Your Side talked to also agreed.

"So many different things that are going on that we can't see," said bus driver Jasper Burnett. "Sometimes we'll have to pull to the side see what's going on, writing all on the seats, throwing paper down yonder."

This is why the Board of Education is trying to secure funding for the project.

"To get new camera systems that are much more efficient," said Matt Johnson, executive director of operations of Pitt County Schools.. "And can capture much more on every buses in the fleet, from yellow buses to activity buses."

Only three quarters of the buses have cameras right now, but they are outdated.

The potential new cams will have multiple uses. They can prove or disprove bullying claims or be used to as training videos for bus drivers.

All that waits is an agreement between county commissioners and the Board of Education. They will need to come together to apply for a loan for the project.

"I think we've got support on both sides," said Johnson. "From the Board of Education to county commissioners and I think both entities want to see this move forward."

There have been talks about installing cameras outside of the bus on the arms, but the priority right now is installing those interior cameras.

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