A new surveillance camera installed in front of Adams Hall has become controversial but Campus Safety assures the students that this is just another camera.
When students and faculty walk onto campus there are several signs stating that this property is under video surveillance. It’s no secret that Campus Safety uses these cameras to keep people on campus safe.
Most students would be surprised at how often they are on camera around campus. Video surveillance is a major aspect of keeping APU’s campus safe. This is also true for most establishments across the entire U.S.
Cameras are posted all over the place on streets, in businesses and on freeways. Cameras have become a large part of law enforcement.
“Surveillance cameras present a visual aid which is very important to the prevention of crime,” said Jordan Green, a freshman journalism major .
Some people believe that photo law enforcement is unconstitutional. It has actually been banned in 26 states, but not in California. People consider it unconstitutional because an actual officer did not catch the person breaking the law.
Other people argue that it shouldn’t matter whether an officer is present or not to catch you in the act and others claim that it is simply unfair and wrong to have cameras watching everyone’s every move. Some say it seems as if a “Big Brother” aspect to law enforcement has taken over.
“I prefer there to be many cameras all over campus. That way if there is a crime, we know who it was and how it happened,” said Francisco Balseca, a sophomore marketing and Spanish major.
This camera has caused some controversy from the student body since it is the first camera to have taken a picture of an APU student’s license plate and issued a citation for not stopping at the stop sign.
Campus Safety has recently installed new surveillance cameras at all of its stop signs as a part of its new photo enforcement. An officer still needs to be present however for a ticket to be issued.
“It’s not a red-light camera. The violation must be witnessed by a person,” said Campus Safety Chief Tim Finneran. “The video is used to back up their observation. We needed cameras in that area and Campus Safety funded the project.”
Campus Safety said it has had a problem with drivers not stopping at the stop sign by Adams Hall. In one instance a driver almost struck a small group of 8-year-old kids crossing the street in that area due to the driver not properly stopping at the stop sign.
An important factor to consider is if photo enforcement cameras actually work. California recently stopped photo enforcement through red light cameras due to multiple complications and the fact that they were just simply ineffective at catching people who ran red lights.
Campus Safety has been very open about allowing anyone to come into their offices to see how the cameras work. They want students, faculty and staff to be comfortable with those who are protecting their campus and a great way to do that is to keep people on campus in the loop about their tactics.
“We actually offer the violator to come and see the video of their violation. We are more than happy to show it to them,” said Finneran.
The goal of Campus Safety is to protect the people of APU and ensure that everyone on campus is safe at all times. Surveillance is an important aspect of law enforcement and Campus Safety is confident that a traffic camera will only enhance the protection of students, faculty and staff.
For more information on the new Campus Safety measures you can visit the Department of Campus Safety office in Adams Hall.