Laconia schools looking at security camera system upgrade

LACONIA — The School District is evaluating whether or not it wants to spend $33,000 for a district-wide security server that could be viewed by administrators or the police, if needed.

Information Technology Director Jeff Twombly said he could design the platform such that up to 150 cameras could be viewed through a single server.

Right now, said Twombly, the district has 125 cameras spread over 10 different servers. While the cameras can always be viewed, they cannot be viewed at the same time or with the same software.

"This would put it under one umbrella," he said.

Twombly also said that of the 125 cameras in the schools, about 50 of them are "good cameras". Most of those cameras are at the Huot Technical Center and the Laconia Middle School. While the other 75 are still operating, he said their resolution is fuzzy and many are using outdated software.

He described it as a "big, disjointed network".

For the future, the district would look to systematically replace and, in some cases, relocate cameras using technology that would work with the single data platform.

Business Administrator Ed Emond said each camera costs about $500, including installation and licensing.

Board Chair Joe Cormier suggested the school treat security cameras like it does computers and set up a rotation whereby some percentage of cameras is replaced every year so the system can stay reasonably current.

Twombly said he would be working with the Police Department when he designs the new platform because, ideally, he would like police to be able to view the schools from the police station and not have to go from school to school to review footage.

Emond said the money will come from an $18,000 from the Middle School equipment budget line and $15,000 from the high school technology budget line.

Two years ago and in the wake of the Sandy Hook, Conn. school shooting, the board spent $57,000 on security upgrades. Cormier said those upgrades were for doors, windows, locks and some internal cameras so visitors could be identified by school administrators before they are allowed into the building.

Edwards St. home hit by daytime burglar(s)

LACONIA — City police are investigating a burglary that took place during the day yesterday on Edwards Street.

Police said the homeowner reported it at 4:16 p.m. and that the burglar(s) broke a window to access the house.

He said miscellaneous items were taken and that it was mostly small things.

City police have seen a significant drop in the number of burglaries in 2014 and to date in 2015.

At a recent commissioners meeting, Chief Chris Adams credited community policing efforts plus the fact that during 2012 and 2013 there were three people who committed most of the burglaries in Laconia and the surrounding areas.

All three were caught by police — including the two "bedtime burglars" — pleaded guilty in the Belknap County Superior Court and are currently incarcerated in the N.H. State Prison.

Shaker Road home victim of burglar(s)

BELMONT — Police are investigating a burglary on Shaker Road in a seasonal home that was reported to them on the morning of February 20 — a Friday.

Lt. Richard Mann said it appeared the house was "ransacked" and in the process, the burglar or burglars were able to find a key that unlocked a gun safe.

Mann said there are some weapons reported stolen but he declined to say what kind or how many.

He said entry was made through a back door and it appears the burglar(s) used the same footprints made by the person who shoveled off the roof earlier this season.

Since the beginning of the year, Belmont has had at least five home burglaries. Mann said they are all being investigated by the detective bureau.

He declined to say if it appears they are related.

Any one with any information is asked to call Belmont Police at at 267-8350.