What Campus Security End Users Say About the Cameras You Install

Gain insights from comments made by end users who participated in this year’s Campus Safety Video Surveillance Survey.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — SSI sister publication Campus Safety recently conducted its 2019 Video Surveillance Survey to query school, university and healthcare facility protection professionals about the successes and challenges they experience with their security camera systems.

Based on hundreds of comments, the survey results show the most frequent problem these end customers contend with is a lack of funds to pay for new or upgraded solutions.

“Respondents were very forthcoming with praise for their security cameras, with many saying they used their video systems to investigate thefts and fights,” Campus Safety Editor-in-Chief Robin Hattersley-Gray writes.  “Cameras also have helped some respondents investigate hate crimes, stalking allegations, sexual abuse claims and car accidents. One hospital used its video surveillance system to help stop an infant abduction.”

Among other use cases, participants said they use their cameras to monitor vehicle traffic flow, damage from inclement weather and more.

In general, a large majority of hospital, school and university protection professionals appear to be very supportive of the deployment of security cameras and use this technology frequently to do their jobs and make their campuses more safe and secure.

Following are just some of the many comments reported by Campus Safety; access a full list of comments here.

Campus Security Camera Successes

  • “We regularly provide archived video via search warrant to the local PD for evidentiary use in criminal case prosecution. On multiple occasions, the video has made the difference in either obtaining a conviction or plea deal. We’ve had much better results with newer HDMI video recorded on NVR’s vs older analog or DVR equipment.”
  • “Video surveillance has recently been expanded to include Pyxis machines [an automated medication dispensing system] in order to enhance our drug diversion detection program.”
  • “We can monitor the progress of an evacuation and to critique the process. We work along with law enforcement in aiding them in following up on incidents they are investigating with may occur on our campus.”
  • “Since the upgrade in our camera system three years ago, theft incidents have sharply declined and or been successfully solved.”
  • “I am a high school resource officer. Our new security camera system has helped with many bullying and fighting issues that we’ve had in our hallways. It has also assisted in identifying a student that was going into classrooms, that teachers had left open, and committing larceny.”
  • “With the cost drops recently, buy-in is much easier. We have upgraded our servers and now have 200TB of storage; 10x what it was, and added 150 cameras to include 180- and 360-degree cameras.”
  • “Just having the system and students, staff and community knowing they are in place has helped with not only discipline issues, but help create a sense of safety and security. As for an incident in which our cameras has helped, Thanksgiving weekend, November 2018 we had a person drive by several doors and windows or our building and shooting them with a high powered BB gun. Through our video surveillance system, we were able to easily identify the driver and his car that led to his apprehension in less than 12 hours.

Video Surveillance System Challenges, Other Comments

  • “Ensure you get High HD zoom in/out capabilities. Makes life easier to ID the incident and those involved. Placement position is also essential.”
  • “We have three different camera systems in three different buildings. The system in our main building does not allow you to manage the system with admin rights, thus our IT Director is reluctant to give out due to all of the cyber-attacks.”
  • “Our biggest problem is lack of funding to get the system built out and lack of integration with access control. It is getting built slow but sure — 86 cameras in three years — but obtaining the funding is the biggest challenge right now.”
  • “Video analytics are important in our next phase of applying security camera surveillance in our day to day operations.”
  • “Work with a good in-house IT Department to reduce cost on adding sever space and running cables and installing IP cameras without having the high mark up of an outside vendor.”
  • “Finding competent integrators who truly understand modern IP security camera systems in our area is a challenge. Obtaining financial support for safety and security initiatives in general is challenging as well.”
  • “Storage is an issue. We have some cameras that only have 2 week storage before the data is lost. Our new cameras have 6 months. It varies based on where the incident happened and when we hear about it whether we might have the footage.”
  • “Monitoring is a HUGE issue. Cameras alone are only a deterrence. Monitoring AND responding to incidents is security. Staff often happy with deterrence. Parents don’t appreciate cost to use cameras properly.”
  • “Campus security does not have any input on what cameras IT buys or where they are placed despite having security professionals who have many years of experience.”

You can view the 2019 Video Surveillance Survey here.

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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