Burbank Unified School District Supt. Gregory Bowman reported to the board last week that the cameras had already been bought and simply needed to be installed.
But John Burroughs High School Principal Emilio Urioste tells a different story.
"We don't have any cameras," Urioste said. "We're working on getting them; we've had firms come out to consult on putting them in, but we don't have the cameras."
Neither is entirely right, or wrong.
The confusion stems from approximately 10 cameras that were procured by former Burbank High School Principal Leslie Deroos while construction at the school was just beginning. She purchased the cameras, Burroughs Assistant Principal Tom Steele said, hoping that during renovations the district would agree to set them up.
"At that time the state was giving out what they called school safety money," explained Burbank Principal Bruce Osgood. "Individual schools could write grants to utilize plans for safety money, and Burbank was very aggressive in writing those grants."
But the cameras were not put in place, Osgood said, because the proper wiring was not put in during the construction process.
Since then the cameras have been sitting in the district's warehouse, growing older and outdated. The district has yet to review the cameras that are in storage, but it is likely they are not able to sweep back and forth, recording a large area, said Steve Bradley, the assistant superintendent of business services.
"I'm willing to bet they're just stationary," Bradley said. "If so, there was talk that maybe we would ... put the cameras in the stairwells here at the district."
The cameras Steele is hoping to purchase for Burroughs High School are state-of-the-art digital versions that allow users to sweep large areas, zoom, and sort and search film at the touch of a button.