So it turns out getting the "Silent Witness" removed is easier than I thought.
First, remove the driver's seat. This makes everything else MUCH easier.
Then, to get the front locked cover open, pay attention to the "hinge"... really just tabs inserted into slots. Take a screwdriver and a hammer and tap on the lock to shove the cover in the direction that permits the tabs to come out. Then pry out the tabs, and pull the cover off, bypassing the lock.
Since I only damaged the cover a little bit before I realized the tab trick, I plan to replace the lock with one I have on hand. The lock box will be useful for something I'm sure.
Inside there is a small DC operated VCR with some customized circuitry inside.
There is a D shaped 25 pin connector on the back, which is where power, ign+, brk, stp, and other input signals come into the unit. On this bus, they only had the ones for ign+, brakes, and 8 ways (stp) hooked up. There is a cable just for speed, but it wasn't attached.
There is a separate set of cables (video, audio, and power) that goes into a tiny cable that routes around and feeds the camera. It is easy to fish it back out. The camera has security allen
screws all over it, but had standard phillips head screws attaching it to the ceiling panel.
There was still a tape in the VCR. Based on viewing the tape, it looks like my bus was decommissioned in the summer of 2005. Also, it looks like the bus was just a spare/special activities bus for that school year. The guy I bought it from bought it direct from the school system in 2008. So, looks like it sat in the school maintenance yard for 3 years.
While I was messing with wiring, I also found the blasted buzzer and pulled the wires from it. Now there's no emergency exit buzzing.
After spending some time staring at the bus, I've decided I'm going to keep the front 2 rows of seats for now. I plan to remove the rest of them. This will give me some good cargo space for all my "stuff" and also let me drive around with a few passengers if needed.
I'm also planning to leave room free in the back for materials I need to go buy in the future for the primary bus conversion. This way I can load the materials into the bus and not have to move them when I get back home, except upon need for them to be installed.
Watching the video, it appears this may not have been one of the busses geared for highway running. There are some bits on the highway where the bus is being passed by a steady stream of cars. However, until I have a chance to get on the road with it myself, there's just no telling for sure.
I still need to put the driver's seat back in. It's nearly 100% humidity out there today, which is murderous.
Every time I go out, it rains a little teeny bit then stops again.
I don't think this silent witness thing will be useful in my conversion in any way. I have doubts about the special lock box being useful. But, you never can tell.
edit: it is security allen screws, not security torx screws. oops.