Educational institutions have an obligation to ensure the safety of their students and faculty. They also have an obligation to maintain their facilities and prevent theft or vandalism. Video surveillance has become commonplace not only in businesses but now in schools and college campuses. The installment of modern IP video surveillance systems is effective for providing Point of Entry monitoring at key areas, and high definition IP cameras provide unprecedented levels of clarity and control along with the ability to remotely access live video from mobile devices.
Many argue that video surveillance in schools is an invasion of privacy. While this is not unmerited, extra security is becoming an unfortunate necessity in today’s turbulent climate. Whether cameras are distributed throughout hallways or only in entrances or parking lots, their presence will have a positive impact on the safety of the school. If administered correctly, these solutions can give school administrators and security personnel tools for effectively responding to campus incidents while avoiding the creation of an intrusive environment.
NPR held a discussion on this topic during their program, TALK OF THE NATION. Peter Pochowski, secretary of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers, told NPR, “[T]here’s an old saying that it’s not the severity of a punishment that alters behavior, it’s the certainty of it.” A high definition video surveillance system holds offenders of any kind accountable, anywhere from bullying to vandalism to assaults. He also explained the kinds of behaviors cameras are supposed to prevent, saying, “Dark, secluded hallways are notorious for having problems. Sexual assaults frequently happen in those areas, sales of drugs and bullying, threats, those kinds of things happen there.” Neal Conan, host of the program, explained, “Clifton High in New Jersey, the decision to install cameras came after several sexual assaults in a school stairwell.” While it is understood that cameras are not a perfect solution to these problems, they have proven to be an effective deterrent that must be supplemented with vigilant efforts of the staff and campus police to prevent such incidents.
Elon University, a Case Study in Effective Implementation of Campus Surveillance
Elon University is a large advocate for video surveillance. In an article on their university website they stated, “Over the past few years, Elon University has installed nearly 550 high-definition cameras on roads and walkways, in parking lots and inside buildings across campus, providing law enforcement with new ‘tools in the toolbelt’ to deter people determined to cause problems for the community.”
University Administrations have emphasized the strict parameters that will be abided by as video surveillance is utilized. Extra care must be taken to ensure that this technology is not used to create an environment of ‘big brother’ monitoring. In Elon University’s case, this concern has seemingly subsided since the installations have been operational. Elon University is considered one of the safest university campuses in the nation and has done an admirable job administering video surveillance in a way that does not intrude upon day to day student privacy. They are a case study example that proves that there is a tasteful, effective way to incorporate School and Campus Video Surveillance.
Educational facilities will surely benefit from video surveillance. What many schools struggle with is finding equipment that is both affordable and effective. i2c Technologies provides industry-leading IP based video surveillance solutions for schools & campuses. Cutting edge Axis cameras, paired with in house Video Management Software and the ability to remotely access cameras makes our video surveillance solutions ideal for these applications.