DeKalb County

Nearly 200 security cameras are down in metro school district, Channel 2 investigation shows

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that nearly 200 school security cameras that are supposed to help keep children safe are not working in the DeKalb County School District.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi reports that sources said old infrastructure is causing the problem.

A school board member said after we started investigating, the district increased efforts to get all of the cameras working.

Currently, cameras are on the fritz and that could put students’ and teachers’ lives in jeopardy if an active shooter got into a school.

Channel 2 Action News exclusively obtained a report that showed 637 cameras down across the DeKalb County School District on one day in June 2023.

Exclusive photos of tangled wires above the servers show the source of the problem.

The servers get so hot photos show fans blowing on them.

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“I am appalled. We have to make sure that the children are safe,” said Joyce Morley, Ed.D., a DeKalb County School Board Member.

She was shocked by the school camera report Channel 2 Action News showed her.

A whistleblower gave us the reports that show between November 2022 and early January 2024 hundreds of cameras were not working throughout DeKalb County Schools.

“You have over 500 and some cameras out at any given time. That’s a problem,” Morley said.

Channel 2 Action News crunched the numbers and found an average of 300 cameras out of more than 7,800 did not work.

On multiple days, 100% of the cameras at some schools did not work.

“And until I heard from you all, I wasn’t aware as to the level of, of, of how big of a problem this was with the cameras being out ant that this many cameras,” Morley said.

Shannon Cu whose child attends Austin Elementary School said it was disappointing.

“There’s no point in having a camera system if they’re not if they’re not functioning or upgraded,” Cu said.

Sources told Channel 2 Action News the cameras are not working because the servers are old.


“We had old servers, old software, and that within the last year, a lot of these have been replaced,” Morley said.

Channel 2 Action News filed an open records request for Chief Information Officer Monika Davis’ emails about the camera problems.

In an April 2023 email, Davis wrote about the camera issues, “This delay is very dangerous for the schools.”

“I’ve been told by our chief that the servers have been uploaded, new servers, new software has been uploaded and they’re working on it,” Morley said.

Channel 2 Action News’ initial requests for on-camera interviews with Monika Davis and Superintendent Devon Horton, Ed.D. were denied.

Choi went to Monday’s school board meeting to ask again.

“We respectfully ask for an interview with Superintendent Horton and or CIO Davis,” Choi asked during public comment.

Davis agreed to talk about the camera reports and explained their purpose.

“That was us working through, going school by school, by school, by school, ensuring that all cameras were up and where they needed to be,” Davis said.

She said some cameras listed as down really were not. They may have been moved or part of construction projects.

She said the district is working to fix the problem.

“One of the main things we had to do was to replace the server infrastructure,” Davis said.

Morley believes Channel 2 Action News’ reporting prompted the district to speed up efforts to fix the problem.

“I heard that you all have been questioning everybody, going to everybody. It sure is,” Morley said.

The district said currently 97.5% of 7,983 cameras are working.

That means nearly 200 cameras are still down. Davis said getting them running is a top priority.

“I will say that those cameras will be up as soon as we humanly can get them up and in place them into rotation,” Davis said.

“I don’t care if they’re ten cameras down. Correct them,” Morley said.

Davis said the district received $17 million in ESPLOST money for physical security infrastructure which includes cameras.

Channel 2 Action News will stay on top of the camera problem and let you know when they’re all working.