College purchases new security cameras with network upgrade

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The college is  currently in the process of installing new security cameras all over campus to help ensure the safety of students and staff. The new security cameras will have a higher storage capacity thanks to an updated fiber network, replace outdated hardware and feature new vantage points.

The opportunity for new cameras came with the upgrades being installed to the college’s fiber network. Officer Ryan Futrell said the new cameras will be located all over campus.

“All of the cameras themselves are being replaced,” Futrell said. “Some of the positions [the old cameras are] in right now aren’t the greatest so we’re using this opportunity to be able to move them, put the newer camera in the same general location but we can tweak it to get more coverage in certain areas.”

The cameras are monitored in the college’s Police Department lobby in the Carlson Center by at least two dispatchers at a time. Their job is to monitor the recordings as well as the activity on campus. If something happens on campus, they alert the Campus Police of the situation, whether it’s a small fight or a person with a gun. They continue to monitor the cameras while the officers respond to the situation.

“[The dispatchers] can tell us whether they see something on camera so we’re not just going in blind,” Futrell said. “We don’t know what we’re getting into, so they’ll be able to monitor it on that end if we have a more major incident like the lockdown that happened [in 2014], we can have multiple eyes.”

When the cameras are finished being installed, the fiber network will not only grant them more storage than previously, but will enable the campus to install more storage if necessary.

Student Tiffany Rodriguez feels safe on campus, but she still has her own advantages just in case.

“I’ve got a little bit of martial arts training,” Rodriguez said. “Fourteen years in the service; that’s actually helped with some self-defense. I’m constantly aware of my surroundings.”

Another student, Kayla Cline, believes the college already does a lot to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“We [have] all those [exterior emergency phones] all over the campus, like if you need a cop or something, you can just hit a button,” Cline said.

The Director of Insurance and Risk Management, Tom Clayton, believes the new security cameras are going to be an improvement for the campus.

“The cameras will simply allow the college to keep a closer eye on the campus,” Clayton said.

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