Sunday, August 28, 2011

University in Louisiana Increases Security Cameras

Nicholls State UniversityNicholls State University, out of Thibodaux, Louisiana, is adding hundreds of security cameras to its campus in order to increase security. However, while some students are pleased and welcome the added surveillance, others are becoming increasingly puzzled about the move.

According to Executive Vice President Larry Howell, "This is just another piece of the continued improvements on campus. Nicholls has always been a safe campus for our students, faculty and staff, and we are committed to making it even safer."

As of right now, 157 cameras are already installed on the campus. The school hopes to add 193 additional cameras by the end of the year bringing the total up to 350 cameras. Cameras have been and will be installed in common areas and corridors of residence halls, cash-collection points, the gymnasium, union, cafeteria and Beauregard Hall.

Craig Jaccuzzo, head of university police at Nicholls, says that the cameras are being installed in phases as buildings are being renovated. "As we can financially support adding cameras, we are doing so," he said. Jaccuzzo estimates that the total cost for the entire system is about $400,000 with each camera casting about $980.

Jaccuzzo was quick to dismiss questions that the new cameras were being added in response to a specific misdeed or crime. "You see a lot of campuses doing this kind of thing whenever something bad happens," he states. "We're doing it to be proactive." Jaccuzzo also added that the cameras can be used to monitor live events and can also store up to two weeks of footage.

As far as students' feelings on the new cameras go, many are positive. Most of the students interviewed about the cameras stated that the new system makes them feel safer. However, one complaint about the cameras was that the number of cameras seems excessive.

"A couple hundred seems over the top for me," said communications sophomore Chelsea Bray. "If it were a few dozen, it would be alright. Is there really that much happening here?"

Other students are worried about the cameras infringing upon their privacy. Jaccuzzo responded to the privacy concerns saying, "We're only placing the cameras where there are no expectations of privacy." Jaccuzzo stated that he usually tells the students who complain about privacy to focus on the security these cameras provide. "I ask them if they are willing to give up inches of that type of freedom so they can sleep at night. All of them are pretty much in line when they understand that."

Source: Daily Comet - Nicholls adds security cameras on campus

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