All security cameras on Rowan University’s Glassboro campus are in the process of getting an upgrade, according to Rowan Public Safety.
Public Safety confirmed this two weeks ago at the first SGA meeting of the semester. Mike Kantner, assistant vice president of Public Safety and Office of Emergency Management, explained that the department had received funding for the renovations of outdated security cameras and the addition of newer cameras across Rowan and in parking lots.
The new 4K digital cameras are high definition, according to Lt. Craig Shute of public safety. They offer the department better quality footage, as well as the ability to zoom in and retain clear resolution on an image, he said.
The installations of the new cameras are part of a three-phase program, according to Shute.
Phase one is replacing the outdated cameras at Rowan Boulevard, phase two will replace cameras on the exterior of several buildings — including the Whitney Center and Chamberlain Student Center — and phase three will put cameras in the parking lots to increase awareness of crimes occurring in those areas.
Shute said the department is installing the new cameras in order to catch crimes in progress and identify suspects in past crimes. They are not telling the community exactly where the new cameras are being installed.
“The new system is a lot better and a lot clearer,” Shute said. “We are spreading them out. We have them at different locations and the object is putting them out because we want to keep the kids and the faculty safe and the campus community safe.
“However, we are not going to broadcast where we are putting them because that defeats the purpose. We are not trying to be Big Brother but if everyone knows where the cameras are [they can hide from them],” he continued.
Shute went on to explain how two juvenile thieves were caught trying to steal a bike in Rowan Boulevard last week while one tried to hide his face from a camera by wearing a bandana mask over his face. As a result of an abundance of the new cameras in Holly Pointe Commons, public safety was able to track the thief by rewinding footage. They were able to track him to a point before the theft, when he did not have his mask on and his face was identifiable.
The department then was able to show the photo of thieves to local school resource officers, who then were able then to apprehend them.
“Criminal charges will be signed against these two juveniles,” Shute said.
By the end of the program, the department will have 200 to 400 cameras installed on campus and public safety’s goal is to set up a network of cameras compared to the systems of bigger colleges like the University of Pennsylvania.
“I find it more comforting to know that there is extra protection,” said junior psychology major Kaelin Stoll. “I think it will over all improve the safety of campus and you’ll always hear about any crimes and attacks on campus, so we might as well be extra safe.”
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