Audit finds security issues at 41 Knox County Schools

Audit finds security issues at 41 Knox County Schools

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By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE  (WATE) – Additional audits into Knox County schools should even more security problems district wide.

The school board ordered an audit at the start of the year of a sampling of schools across the county. As problems showed up, the audit was expanded to the rest of the district.

6News obtained the inspection reports and found 41 schools had problems with their security systems. On average, there were at least three cameras that malfunctioned at each school.

Inspection reports conducted between May and September by SimplexGrinnell, the firm used by the Knox County School District, show a variety of problems from malfunction cameras to devices never replaced after new construction.

The school with the most issues was Northwest Middle School.

The report found the security panel loses power and shuts off, six cameras failed and no alarm sounded when the door security or motion detectors were tested.

Parents raised concerns in March over security at Northwest Middle and even held a fundraiser to improve their security system.

At Halls Middle School, six motion detectors failed due to "the cable communicating with the devices has been damaged."

Powell Elementary had five cameras that failed the test.

Sarah Moore Greene Elementary had seven cameras fail, many needed cleaning.

Dirty cameras, or ones that needed adjustments, were seen at many schools including Fulton High School, Bearden Middle School and Bearden High School.

During a fire alarm inspection at Gibbs High School SimplexGrinnell found "many points had been removed due to new construction." Those devices were never replaced.

A spokesperson for the school district says they believe all of the issues discovered during the summer audit had been resolved.

Full List of Security Issues Discovered 

  • At A.L. Lotts Elementary School, four cameras failed because of an adjusted view, another needed cleaning.
  • At Ball Camp Elementary three cameras failed because of adjusted view.
  • At Bearden High School, one camera had no picture, four others needed cleaning and another had an adjusted view. The security keypad was inoperative.
  • At Bearden Middle School five cameras failed due to an adjusted view, another had no picture.
  • At Belle Morris Elementary they discovered the DVR system had only limited access.
  • At Bonny Kate Elementary School they discovered the DVR system had only limited access.
  • At Brickley-McCloud Elementary no alarm sounded when the door security was tested.
  • At Carter Middle School the motion detector was not tested during the inspection due to no access. The DVR cameras were not labeled. One camera needed to be cleaned.
  • At Cedar Bluff Middle School they reported troubles and alarms during testing.
  • At Central High School two cameras failed due to poor quality.
  • At Chilhowee Intermediate School two cameras failed due to no picture.
  • At Copper Ridge Elementary School four cameras failed because they were mislabeled.
  • At East Knox County Elementary one camera was not found, five others failed due to an adjusted view.
  • At Fair Garden Family Center the customer was unaware of DVR location and not able to obtain hard drive information.
  • At Farragut High School, one camera did not operate.
  • At Farragut Intermediate School, one camera failed.
  • At Fountain City Elementary no alarm sounded on two security motion detectors.
  • At Fulton High School four cameras failed because of poor focus.
  • At Gap Creek Elementary School no alarm sounded when the motion detector was tested.
  • At Gibbs High School during the fire alarm inspection, many points had been removed/disabled due to new construction. Devices were never replaced.
  • At Green Elementary School four cameras failed due to no picture.
  • At Gresham Middle School three cameras failed due to an adjusted view.
  • At Halls Middle School, no alarm sounded when motion detector was tested. Six other detectors failed due to the cable communicating with the devices were damaged.
  • At Karns Annex, one camera needed cleaning
  • At Karns High School the security motion detector was broken.
  • At Karns Middle School the security panel transformer is discolored and overheating; recommend replacement of the power supply.
  • At Lincoln Park Tech Center the school was unable to provide password for system.
  • At Maynard Elementary no alarm sounded when two motion detectors were tested.
  • At Northwest Elementary, six cameras failed. No alarm sounded on the door security system and no alarm sounded on the motion detector. The security panel loses power and shuts off and the DVR cameras were not labeled.
  • At New Hopewell Elementary two cameras failed because of poor focus.
  • At Pleasant Ridge Elementary they were unable to gather DVR and camera information. The DRV was removed due to asbestos removal.
  • At L&N Stem Academy no horns or sirens were attached to system. One area had not been programmed correctly. During alarm testing, signals were not sent to monitoring, system was programmed incorrectly. The system has now been reprogrammed.
  • At Powell Elementary School five cameras were not working
  • At Powell High School four cameras failed because of poor view, another need cleaning. The security key pad had a broken case.
  • At Rocky Hill Elementary two cameras failed due to a poor view, one need cleaning.
  • At Sarah Moore Green Elementary, seven cameras failed the test. One had no picture; the others needed cleaning or adjusting. The motion detector failed when no alarm sounded.
  • At South Doyle High School the security panel loses power and shuts down. Eight cameras failed due to poor view or fading image. Two motion detectors failed because they had broken housing.
  • At Sterchi Elementary School they were unable to test the glass break sensor due to unavailable equipment.
  • At West High School they were unable to test signal transmission. The security control panel failed and four cameras failed due to poor view.
  • At West Hills Elementary one camera failed and the digital video recorder failed.
  • At West Valley Middle School the security control panel failed and no alarm sounded when the motion detector was tested.
  • At West View Elementary no alarm sounded when the motion detector was tested.
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