NIU Plans to Install More Security Cameras in Campus Residence Halls

In addition to video surveillance, the plan also includes locks and visitor management.

NIU Plans to Install More Security Cameras in Campus Residence Halls

Northern Illinois University (NIU) police have partnered with the school’s IT department and residence hall directors to install more security cameras in all of the dorms on campus.

The plan also includes locks for the doors and visitor management, reports the Northern Star.

The goal of the video surveillance installation is to deter students from using emergency doors during non-emergencies and to prevent trespassing. NIU Police Commander Don Rodman says the cameras will alert staff when someone uses the doors.

A beta test of the video surveillance system was done at Stevenson Towers because it is one of the largest complexes on campus. During the beta test, “a dozen or so individuals” who trespassed were charged with trespassing or given notice and then not asked to come back on campus, says Rodman. NIU Chief of Police Thomas Philips believes the cameras at Stevenson Towers cost $40,000-$50,000.

Philips is drafting a plan that will be presented to NIU officials, with the goal of integrating the security cameras with new locks and guest registration.

Cameras will monitor residence hall entrances, says Rodman. NIU might expand its use of video surveillance if the need arises.

He also says students and staff will need to communicate to ensure residence hall security.

NIU isn’t alone in its use of security cameras on campus. According to Campus Safety’s 2016 Video Surveillance Survey, more than nine out of 10 K-12, hospital and higher education organizations have security cameras installed. Additionally, Campus Safety’s  2018 Video Surveillance Survey found that of the campuses that have security cameras installed, nine out of ten use them daily or weekly. The overwhelming majority (96%) also use their video surveillance systems frequently (58%) or sometimes (38%) to provide evidence for investigations.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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