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New Cameras to Combat Parking Lot Vandalism

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Students and security alike are hopeful that the installation of security cameras in the student parking lot will put an end to the break-ins and instances of vandalism that have been occurring over the last month. During the last two weeks, at least five cases of vandalism or break-ins have occurred in the student parking lot.

Due to the fact that the cameras were not yet functioning as expected, students and staff have been unable to find the cause of this problem. With all of these issues in the parking lot, some students are scared to even briefly leave their car unattended for these very reasons. Because of this, Stamford High is now installing working cameras throughout the parking lot.

Senior Delfina Umpierrez said, “It’s scary knowing that there are people trying to ruin our cars, and that we can’t even leave our cars in the school lot.” Senior Isabella Viggiano said that after a profane word was keyed into the side of her car on November 6 during our last period of the day, security assured her they would call her down to the security office to help with the identification of the person behind this disaster. “I think the cameras should work, because whoever is doing this needs to have a punishment,” Viggiano said.

Senior Lizzie Demarkey’s car suffered damage in the SHS parking lot.

Senior Lizzie Demarkey had a similar incident that occurred with her vehicle. Demarkey said she believes that “Stamford Public Schools should take responsibility, since the cameras did not work when it happened.” She also added that she felt the school was being reactive rather than proactive when it comes to dealing with parking lot security. “They waited until four cars were hit or damaged to get new cameras installed instead of just having working cameras in the first place,” Demarkey said.

Principal Ray Manka said that this was not actually the case.  Manka said, “The unfortunate events which took place in the parking lot were disappointing and certainly taken very seriously by SHS administration and security.  SHS has been working closely with vendors for the past several months to upgrade software and hardware throughout the school, even adding several cameras outside in areas previously unmonitored.  SHS takes great pride in maintaining a safe and supportive school, and school campus, and we are glad to report that replacement cameras in this area have been installed and are fully operational.”

Head of security James Jordan (referred to as JJ) assured students that they have stepped up parking lot security. They now have someone assigned to walk around the parking lot, have installed three new cameras in the lot, and are making a concerted effort to be very aware of who comes in and leaves from the lot. “We understand the problem, we are going to fix it; we just want to make everyone feel safe,” Jordan said. 

Senior Charlotte Marant’s car was also damaged in the parking lot.

Senior Charlotte Marantz described the situation as “devastating” after her car was hit in our student parking lot. “The school’s negligence has rendered me completely helpless, and is forcing me to foot a ginormous bill that I’ll inevitably receive. The fact that the cameras were in place but not turned on is endlessly frustrating,” Marantz said. “Once the cameras are turned on, I’ll feel safe driving my car around school again.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from Principal Ray Manka.

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New Cameras to Combat Parking Lot Vandalism