Kansas U. Cameras Cut Parking Lot Crime By 23%

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Recently, a $380,000 security system was installed at Kansas University (KU), and police say they’ve seen a significant decrease in crime as a result.

The system, which is remotely monitored by campus police, uses cameras that monitor the system 24/7. According to police, in 10 of the residence-hall parking lots that are monitored by the cameras, reports of crimes have fallen by 23 percent from 2004 to 2005.

The installation of the surveillance system was prompted in 2003 when a series of violent incidents occurred in those parking lots. In addition to the parking areas, several streets, student athletic facilities, building exteriors and building interiors are monitored by the cameras.

Twenty part-time student employees monitor the cameras. So that privacy is protected, if a system operator zooms in too tightly to the exterior of a dorm room, the camera’s screen goes blank.

Although privacy rights and “Big Brother” concerns were initially expressed about the system, according to police, now many want the system expanded.

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