MURRAY — It appears that the City of Murray will be saving several thousand dollars for a project that will result in nearly 100 cameras being installed in a pair of school campuses. 

Thursday night, the Murray City Council approved a bid from Murray Electronics to install the cameras at both Murray Middle and Murray Elementary schools. The bid was for $85,324.08. A Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant for which the Murray Police Department applied amounted to $98,955. 

“We also think there is potential to save even more money, but as it stands with the original award, we have managed to save about $10,000 from the original estimate,” said City of Murray Director of Planning Jeremy Buchanan, who presented the proposal to the council’s Public Safety Committee. The full council then approved the measure unanimously a little later in the evening. 

“This is also going to save approximately $3,400 on the city’s match portion of this grant as it was a 75/25 grant,” Buchanan added. 

City of Murray Police Chief Jeff Liles addressed the council in October 2018, along with Murray Independent School District Public Information Officer Sherry Purdom and MPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Brant Shutt. It was Shutt who wrote the grant. 

“This is to deter school violence,” Liles said in October. “We felt we needed to take extra steps, and this grant became available. It’s the first year it’s been offered and we decided to see if we could get it.

“This partnership means so much to me and the department.”

The new cameras will mark a significant upgrade for the surveillance systems at both campuses. Murray High School had an upgrade in its cameras when the campus at the intersection of Doran Road and Sycamore Street was renovated over the past few years. 

“I do know that a couple of video recorders are planned for the middle school and one in the elementary school, but I’m not sure what the breakdown is as far as how many cameras are going to each school,” Buchanan said. “I know that we have gone through an assessment where (officials) thought the cameras needed to be set up.”

Buchanan also said that this will enable personnel at MPD dispatch, as well as officers to be able to see what is happening on the campuses. 

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