Award-Winner: Police chief explains campus camera situation
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 19, 2018. Angelika is currently the News Editor of Pacer Times, though she has held several positions in Pacer Times, including co-EIC.
Recently, Pacer Times won five awards from the South Carolina Press Association’s News Contest. This article won third place in the News story category. Congratulations, Angelika! We are proud to have had you on the team.
Lights, no cameras and too much action.
These have been the thoughts of many students these past two weeks. There has been much debate and talk about the notion of cameras or the lack thereof.
Pacer Times sat down with Chief of Police, Kevin Liles to get the real story.
“There are security cameras. I can’t give you exact specifics but there are more than 100 and most likely more than 120 cameras,” said Liles.
It is for the safety of our campus community that the exact locations of those cameras could not be revealed.
It would become easier for someone to commit a crime if they knew where to not get caught. Cameras are placed based on a number of factors, including where crime on campus is occurring and where there is a need.
“We are constantly adding cameras. However, there’s a rhyme and reason to camera placement. We have to figure out how to spend in a wise matter so that way we don’t cause you guys [students] an increase,” stated Liles.
Cameras are not the complete answer to safety concerns. USC Aiken is an open, public university with guests ranging from family members, prospective students, visiting sports teams and regular civilians who have access to campus.
Unfortunately, there is assumed risk that students take when parking their vehicles in the parking lots. Still, this doesn’t mean that the vandalism of cars goes unnoticed by university officials.
Cooperation and accident/incident reports help with camera placement. Through walkarounds with students and accurate reporting, University Police can continue the evaluation of the safety needs of campus.
Alongside cameras, there are other safety measures in place around campus. Panic buttons in faculty rooms, call boxes across campus, the ALERTUS app and constant communication with faculty and students through email and text are just some of those measures.
However the true issue is not cameras, but the students’ concern for their safety.
“Safety goes both ways. It requires that we do things for students but that they also do things for themselves,” said Liles.
It is extremely important that students notify and report.
If you are ever in need of assistance, please call University Police at 641-3319. After regular business hours, please call the Emergency line for assistance at 648-4011.