Local News

Durham schools: Don't even think about stealing our computers

Posted April 22, 2009 10:20 a.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2009 1:28 p.m. EDT

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— Don’t even think about stealing a computer from Durham Public Schools.

That's the message the school system has for potential thieves as officials announced Wednesday that they have installed tracking software on all of their 12,000 or so computers.

"(The software) enables the location of our computers to be traced," spokesman Michael Yarbrough wrote in a news release. "This effort is designed to minimize the impact of computer theft. Already, at least four stolen or lost computers have been traced using the software."

Computrace is an asset tracking, data protection and computer theft recovery system. With it on school desktops and laptops, the district can track their use, even after the computer is no longer on school property, Yarbrough said.

The program costs the school system $84,000 over three years, according to school officials.

When computers were stolen in the past, the district had little hope of recovering them, Chief Operating Officer Hank Hurd said. Now,  the school system can work with law enforcement to trace the computers and recover them.

“Installing Computrace on DPS computers for the 2008-09 school year was a part of our efforts to be as fiscally responsible as possible,” Hurd said. “Computers are a tool for teaching and learning, and we want every computer to be accounted for and in use. This tracking system enables us to do just that.”