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Security Cameras Get Glowing Reviews from Campus Users

Campus security pros gave us countless stories demonstrating the value of their video surveillance systems.

The 2016 Campus Safety Video Surveillance Survey asked survey participants to provide examples of the successes they’ve experienced with their security cameras. Here are some of their responses as they pertain to thefts, fights and other crimes; medical emergencies; residence hall security; parking lot security; weather emergencies; assaults; gangs; parent approval; retail; risk management; event management; partnerships with local law enforcement; employee discipline; arson investigations; bomb and shooting threats; and other successes.

Thefts, Fights and Other Crimes

  • “Over 1,000 arrests ‘wins’ directly linked to our cameras.”
  • “Our surveillance system has been an effective tool in reducing crimes and incidents district-wide (18-plus campuses).”
  • “We’ve identified theft and vandalism suspects in several cases; student emptied a fire extinguisher in a residence hall lounge requiring fire department response – video included a shot of the suspect re-entering the residence hall, seeing/hearing the fire alarm going and clearly mouthing [the F word]; documenting falls and accidents on campus; documenting damage to a residence hall caused by a leak in the rooms above when the students tried to create a ‘slip and slide’ in their suite; several videos of assaults; identified suspect in a string of vehicle B&Es for the local PD; solved two thefts of trees (yes, trees); in one case, the top of a blue spruce was chopped off and dragged to students’ off campus apartment – students criminally charged – college recovered $950 from them to pay for replacement; in one case my officers had to physically engage an unruly suspect, the video provided documentation that the officers executed their defensive tactic techniques in textbook manner.”
  • “An internal security camera captured a student slipping out of the cafeteria and going into a classroom to steal merchandize from a teacher. He then placed the items in his locker and returned to the cafeteria. An external camera captured a student at night approaching the back of the school and we discovered a broken window the next day to which the student confessed. Several times internal cameras mounted in the ceilings throughout the building have captured footage of fights in the hallways and the gym. The body camera has been used for video and audio purposes to capture a person with drugs. It’s also been used to dispute false claims against an officer. The audio has been very successful in capturing students lying about certain incidents as well as video when students have tried to deny doing or saying something.”

Related: Don’t Let Your IP Cameras Get Hacked

  • “A patient was brought to the Emergency Department by their husband. When the husband left, he picked up a jacket, lying on a table, near the exit. The jacket belonged to a nurse. We were able to identify the husband and the jacket was returned.”
  • “Having over 400 cameras has assisted us in solving many small-scale crimes across campus. We have been fortunate enough to upgrade our police communication center so that many of the cameras can be viewed live by our communication officers. Our communication center has 1 90-inch, 4 60-inch, and 6 50-inch televisions installed allowing us a video wall of cameras that can be observed at any moment.”
  • “Used to assist police in identifying offenders for vending machine break-ins. (Offenders caught on site by vigilant guard, $10,000 recovered.)”
  • “It has helped us capture evidence for local law enforcement to use as well as capture internal theft incidents from employees and student discipline incidents.”
  • “It has been helpful in identifying and arresting multiple suspects, and has been an invaluable tool in court proceedings. Additionally, it has aided in allowing suspects to be tracked and their location relayed to officers, thus assisting in their apprehension.”

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