University installs new security cameras to combat crime

The number of University Housing security cameras has increased this semester and will continue to increase in the future.

The University has been discussing the option of installing security cameras in residence halls for several years, but it was not until an incident in November of last year that the idea was put into action. The case involved the sexual assault of a female in the bathroom on the fourth floor of Forbes Residence Hall.

“Housing is a priority, and there’s no hiding the fact that the incident that we had in Forbes Hall really drove that (decision),” Lieutenant Skip Frost said.

There are now more than 300 security cameras on campus, and many of them are located at the entrances and exits of University residence halls.

According to University police, the cameras are, and will continue to be, vital tools in solving cases.

“It will (help solve crimes), and that’s the best part,” Frost said. “With the proliferation of cameras, we’ve already utilized them several times during investigations.”

The cameras will continue to be installed in many facilities around campus, and the newly built Nugent Hall will have cameras figured into its construction.

“We’re trying to work with the cities, too, to get them up in places where we know we’ve had issues and those cameras would be a benefit,” Frost said.

Frost said the longer the cameras are in place, the more they will be of benefit.

“Even if it’s just on entrances and exits, that’s such a big deal,” he said. “You can develop a timeline of who was in and who was out, and as an investigative tool, it’s just a huge, huge plus.”

Aside from helping to solve crime, Frost said the security camera footage that is gathered is very helpful in showing University and city administrators what is happening on campus.

“It gives them a real good handle on what (daily activity) actually looks like,” Frost said.

While some students may be concerned with privacy, Karissa Nulty, freshman in LAS, said she does not mind the cameras.

“I don’t have anything to hide or be worried about,” she said. “So if they’re doing it for safety, I think that’s fine.”

Robin Hunter, student in LAS, agreed.

“A lot of things do happen around the dorms that people don’t really notice sometimes, and (the cameras) can be helpful to catch little things, like people coming in that shouldn’t be here,” Hunter said.

“They’ll catch a lot of crime if they’re used correctly,” she said.

Frost said he believes that in order to reduce crime, all the cameras need is acknowledgment.

“What we need is one high profile case that gets solved with these cameras, and people are going to start to realize that you can’t do a heck of a whole lot on campus without being caught on camera.”