Officials OK security upgrades

Published 2:13 pm Friday, November 14, 2008

Petal Schools are getting a security upgrade that include computerized locking doors equipped with sensors that allow only employees with identification badges to open the doors.

Tim Hartfield, Petal School District Chief of Police, said the system is complicated and can be customized for each school.

Money for the security system came from a $400,000 grant, which required matching funds from the district in the same amount.

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Unexpected high bids caused the original project estimation of $800,000 to exceed costs by about $150,000, which was paid for out of the district’s general operating fund.

Petal Elementary School is already online with the system, which logs in an employee’s name and face whenever his or her badge unlocks a door on a campus. Hartfield said the system is working well so far.