Campus Security Pros Discuss What They Like, Dislike About Their Surveillance Systems
End users provided valuable commentary regarding their surveillance systems in Campus Safety’s 2018 Video Surveillance Survey.
As part of its 2018 Video Surveillance Survey, SSI sister publication Campus Safety asked campus protection professionals if security cameras actually make campuses safer.
The pros were asked to provide additional commentary on their video surveillance systems. Some discussed their struggles, such as limited budgets, poor customer service and slow police response times, while others talked about what they found most valuable in their current surveillance system.
This data can be valuable to security integrators who want to figure out how to better serve their customers. Here’s what some of the participants had to say:
“I definitely maintain that cameras used properly are not just an ‘after the fact’ information gathering tool. Used properly they are a preventive tool that can also assist security in how they should/should not approach a situation.”
“We utilize a hybrid system allowing us to use both analog and digital cameras. As the analog units need to be replaced, digital is installed.”
“Working with smaller companies has shown great benefits due to some of the larger companies having no interest in follow up after installation.”
“Plug-and-play units that can be moved to hot spots when needed would be nice. Something we can replace in-house rather than waiting for a vendor to show up.”
“The camera systems on each of our 22 school sites have been invaluable.”
“While we desire surveillance cameras that are durable, it would also be beneficial if the quality of customer service is high in case cameras break down, malfunction or become otherwise destroyed.”
“90% of our cameras are non-functioning and those remaining do not record video, so our system is very challenging.”
“Camera data storage and producing and disseminating copies must be user-friendly and compatible with standard MS10 programs.”
“Security cameras are definitely one of our most valuable tools to maintaining a safe campus and district.”
“We have cameras in all schools and several of our administrative buildings within our jurisdiction, for a total of 116 buildings. Our biggest issue is not having enough cameras. Some of the students know where cameras are located and avoid them so stealth or secretly placed cameras would be a bonus. We also do not have cameras in the classrooms, which many times is a problem in prosecuting a criminal case or the school system having to justify their administrative discipline in the he-said-she-said situations. Audio would also prove beneficial, which we do not have.”
“We are a K-12 school with a minimum response time of 30 minutes from law enforcement. These cameras are very important!”
“The majority of cameras on our system are so antiquated they cannot be repaired as parts are unavailable. As always, cost makes replacing the system very challenging and almost prohibitive.”
“We are evaluating several options to integrate a facial recognition capability and to integrate the camera surveillance system with our visitor management system.”
“Surveillance systems in a tropical climate may not last as long as three years. You have to budget for this as the sea blast is a major factor. The other challenge is securing cameras so that they are not vandalized. You should also have some cameras available for undercover work.”
“For a smaller institution with limited resources, cameras have been a great resource for crime activity prevention.”
“Affordability is an issue on our small campus. Although we desire better coverage, finances are just not there at this time. We install more up-to-date cameras as we can, but still have uncovered areas.”
“Cameras have their uses, but students and others are not deterred by them. Most of what we catch is fairly low-level activity inside the dorm, a few things in the parking lots that have cameras, very little in classroom buildings.”
“Our camera system would be more effective if someone monitored the system and we had better camera placement.”
“We have developed our own in-house video server system to reduce cost while still maintaining over 90 days of storage for over 400 IP cameras.”
“Half of our cameras are out of service and there is no immediate plan to replace them. Current Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design research seems to indicate that cameras by themselves do not deter or prevent crime, including violent crime and robberies. Cameras have never prevented school shootings. They are useful only after the fact. We do not currently have the training or policies in place to make our cameras work for the security of our students and facility.”
“With the latest technology out there, it’s important that any camera system use cameras that always record the entire viewable area. While PTZ cameras are cheaper, they are extremely limited in their capabilities and miss a lot, even if things happen right next to the camera.”
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