Submitted policy calls for more video surveillance

Standardization of the use of video cameras is what Chief Gay Shepherd said she hopes to accomplish with the policy she submitted to the buildings and grounds committee last month. “These cameras won’t be monitored, but they’re good to go back and look at if you do have an incident,” she said.

In the past month, Tech has seen high levels of break-ins and stolen property incidents resulting in damaged or missing bicycles, vehicle parts and personal items.

Continuing thefts and burglaries committed by mystery offenders have shed light on the University’s need for a better video surveillance system.

The committee has not reviewed or approved the policy yet because of the high volume of proposals they received at the beginning of the semester. The RUC now has a video surveillance hub at the Information Desk, but Shepherd hopes to extend the practice to other areas of campus.

Separate complainants reported break-ins or attempted break-ins at the Jere Whitson Building, MS Cooper Hall, Foster Hall and the RUC during the past two weeks. The glass window in the door of Jere Whitson Room 212 was found broken Oct. 4. Police think the person used a screwdriver found on the scene to open the door.

On Oct. 8, a complainant in MS Cooper Hall reported that the east side basement window was ajar and a light bulb was broken. The basement is used for storing abandoned bicycles Residential Life acquires around campus. None appeared to be missing. Two other reports mentioned the unsuccessful break-ins of the RUC loading dock doors and Foster Hall Room 101A.

Additionally, University Police received numerous calls about stolen bicycles from Crawford Hall, Evins Hall and New Hall North. More vehicle parts also went missing-namely, the tailgate from a small pickup in the commuter lot north of Evins Hall.

“This theft is probably related to the recent theft of parts from two Chevy S10 pickup trucks,” Tech policeman Michael Lambert said in his report.

Shepherd isn’t sure whether or not the break-ins are somehow connected or committed by the same person.

“It’s impossible to say just on face value,” she said. “You have to gather information and connect the dots.”

With an updated surveillance system, the campus police would be able to monitor key areas for illegal activity. The system would still be largely reactive, since the University “lacks the manpower to monitor” the proposed cameras.

“It’s not one hundred percent foolproof,” Shepherd said.