Date: September 10, 2004

Attention: ASCIP Members

Subject: SCHOOL BUS YARD BURGLARIES

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On a periodic basis, ASCIP receives reports of vehicle burglaries and vandalism which occur within a member district's transportation yard or fleet maintenance facility. Intrusion into school district overnight parking areas and resulting vandalism is an ongoing problem in many geographical areas.

Several years ago ASCIP received numerous reports of school bus radio equipment theft. At that time, a law enforcement theory proposed that those stolen radios could be intended for use outside of the United States for a variety of purposes. Reports of such thefts eventually stopped and it appeared that either the need for such equipment had been satisfied or that the burglars had been apprehended and were no longer able to ply their trade.

Unfortunately, it appears that these concerns have returned with the recent reports of bus fleet burglaries at three school districts with the combined loss of some 164 school bus radios. It also appears that the discriminating thieves took only the most current radios leaving those based on older technology behind. ASCIP encourages all members to review the security of their weekend and overnight parking facilities and to take such steps as may be prudent to prevent similar losses at their own facilities. Some areas which may be of specific interest when considering security improvements may include:

• Perimeter security - is access adequately controlled? If fenced, can chain link fabric be lifted to allow entry, are gates secured with heavy duty locks and/or chains, are there measures in place to prevent climbing, are there areas of concealment which may allow intruders to cut through, go under or over fencing materials without being seen? Have WeTip crime prevention signs been considered as a deterrent?

• Yard lighting - is there adequate security lighting? During hours of darkness, adequate security lighting may provide a deterrent to intruders who fear being discovered by passers-by, police, or security patrols. Critical areas where security lighting may be most important include any normal points of access and those perimeter areas where direct visibility may be poor or obstructed.

• Security system - does the transportation yard have a security system? The presence of a security system of any type may act as a psychological deterrent to potential intruders who may elect to go elsewhere to find a potential victim with less risk. Prominent signing announcing the presence of a security system may add to the deterrent factor.

• CCTV camera system - does the transportation yard have night-capable CCTV camera coverage? As with an intrusion alarm system, the presence of a CCTV system and prominent signing may be a strong deterrent to intrusion. Current technology and remote monitoring capabilities make CCTV an attractive choice in many situations with or without an alarm system.

ASCIP has a professional security consultant who is available to work with any member needing assistance in reviewing or improving bus yard security. Please contact ASCIP staff to schedule a consultation!

Reviewed July, 2006