By Katelynn White
NASHVILLE, TN — Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) spokesperson Sean Braisted said last week cameras purchased and not used in the COVID-19 relief contract between the district and Meharry Medical College did not fit the need for the work that had to be done.
“The decision to move to a different model was made in collaboration with Meharry during team meetings after field-testing the initially proposed cameras,” he said.
“The desire from the team was for a mobile system that could easily check and confirm individual temperatures,” Braisted said. “The donated cameras were unable to be upgraded to fit these needs, and so the systems that were ultimately used were procured by Meharry through a local vendor, Red Care. The thermal units are mobile and can be stationed where needed as determined by COVID compliance monitors and/or school administrators.”
Although cameras could not be used to fit certain needs for both the school district and medical college, the donated cameras remain beneficial for future use.
“The camera systems will remain the property of MNPS and can be used by schools as needed, either as it relates to COVID-19 or in the future if there are flu or other outbreaks.”
According to a news release from Infrared Cameras Inc., the cameras cost $1.5 million.
MNPS choosing not to use specific items disturbed some council members. District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell said, “As both a taxpayer and steward of tax dollars, I have lingering concerns about specific items in the contract, including millions of dollars of technology that cannot be used after a donation of similar equipment was refused, as well as other costs that have proven difficult for Metro Schools to explain.”