New Surveillance Equipment Makes Students Feel Safer

By Kelly Reed
Staff Writer

tv_News 10dbMONTICELLO – New surveillance equipment on the University of Arkansas-Monticello campus makes students feel safer and decreases theft of property.

   Over the past five years, UAM made efforts to improve security on campus by installing security cameras all across campus. Currently, surveillance systems cover many of the major housing halls, including Royer, Bankston, Horsfall and Maxwell. Officer John Kidwell said that improvements to security cameras will continue to be made during summer, which will cover most of the public areas on campus.

   Many students feel safer knowing security cameras are in use. Senior Communications and Psychology double major Anastasia Duff said, “Having surveillance cameras on campus is a great thing. We all want to feel safe. The cameras are a giant step to that feeling being real.”

   Surveillance cameras provide a marked improvement in reduction of crime on campus.

   “The main thing is prevention,” Kidwell said. Theft of property on campus has substantially decreased since the improvements to surveillance systems.

   When surveillance cameras on campus fail to deter crime entirely, the footage gained can prove to be valuable. Surveillance footage helped to solve a few instances of theft of property that occurred in the University Center in Fall 2012. While the theft that occurred in the University Center only included cellphones and books, Kidwell said surveillance systems help to prevent theft of laptops and other items from dormitories. One car or one computer not stolen almost pays for the cameras for an entire building, Kidwell said.

   Eventually, Public Safety plans to incorporate online access for surveillance systems. Online access would allow officers to pull up camera feeds online. This would allow officers to catch suspects in the act. It also allows officers responding to an incident to learn more about the scene before arrival, increasing officer efficiency.

   These improvements to surveillance systems could further aid Public Safety in protecting UAM students and making campus a safe place to be.

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