Woodland officials consider security system for school and town office

5 years ago

WOODLAND, Maine — Woodland’s Select Board members Tuesday discussed the possibility of buying a pair of eight camera security systems from Inlution, a local security system supplier, for the school and municipal office.

Selectman Tom Drew brought the topic to the board at the tail end of the Oct. 16 meeting, suggesting that the town take “the times we’re living in” seriously.

“There’s a lot of traffic down here [on the Woodland Center Road] at night,” said Drew, who owns a dairy farm just a few hundred feet up from the school and town office. “I have a good seat.”

He said that he obtained copies of surveillance footage from the school, and the film was so low quality that “you might as well go over there and put on a puppet show at night.”

Woodland Administrative Assistant and Tax Collector Amber Moutinho said she has received “complaints of kids being in the cemetery [which is adjacent to the town office] at night”

Drew suggested that since the town recently spent $100,000 on a new roof for the school, it may be worthwhile to purchase a security system to protect that investment.

Moutinho said Inlution has a package deal for an eight camera system, and suggested looking into obtaining two of these systems, one each for the town office and school.

Drew agreed, adding that there ought to be a camera covering every entrance of the school as well as any corners that an intruder could use to their advantage. He also suggested obtaining protective glass to separate town employees from visitors at the town office, which is often only manned by Moutinho and Town Clerk Janet Schofield.

Moutinho said that the security package being considered would include a panic button, which would help in any potentially dangerous situations.

“I don’t like the thought of these two in here alone,” said Selectman Will Barnum. “It’s not hard for someone with a vendetta to come in here, and they don’t have time to get to a phone and call [the county sheriff’s office in] Houlton.”

Schofield said she had to wait “two and a half hours” for police to arrive on one occasion that she called for help, and Barnum said a panic button would bring help quicker in the event of an immediate threat.

The board also discussed whether or not the security system would include remote access to the cameras that could be viewed while the office is closed for holidays.

“It would be nice to be able to say, ‘Someone is trying to break into the safe right now,’” Barnum said. Moutinho responded that she is “almost positive that Inlution can remotely access” the cameras.

Selectmen also discussed the possibility of improving nighttime lighting before agreeing to contact Inlution for a quote on two eight-camera security packages.