USUAA aims to increase camera coverage at UAA

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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

 

UAA’s student government is currently working with University Police to add more security cameras around campus to enhance safety and security for students all around campus after student-expressed safety concerns last fall.

USUAA president Alec Burris has made security cameras one of his top priorities since being elected into office.

“I think right now what we’re trying to focus on is getting complete coverage on campus, because you can say you have security cameras and that’s fine, but if you don’t have complete coverage there’s a point where things can slip through the cracks,” Burris said. “That’s something we want to avoid.”

Burris and UPD have pinpointed the residential campus and West Campus parking lot next to the Professional Studies Building lot as spots to place the new cameras.

“Residential campus is one place UPD and I have looked at for security cameras, because students pay to live there,” Burris said. “We want them to feel safe and not worry about their car getting broken into or stolen.”

Connor Larson, a freshman at North Hall, has had his vehicle broken into twice during the last academic year.

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“I don’t understand why there was never cameras in the first place,” Larson said. “I feel like you should be able to feel safe parking your vehicle when you pay as much as you do to live there.”

Lieutenant Michael Beckner believes the new security cameras will combat potential crime on residential campus.

“It’s a good deterrent, and it’s going to help anytime you have a camera,” Beckner said. “If you don’t know who the person is, it’s not going to help, but we can always pick up the description of the car or tag numbers and it helps in a major way.”

One of the biggest challenges regarding cameras is cost.

“I’ve had talks with UPD Chief Brad Munn and Pat Shier the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs, and that’s the one thing we were most stuck on: where do we get the money to pay for these cameras, because they’re not cheap,” Burris said. “Munn told me that an outside contractor gave an estimate of $10,000 per camera but would be cheaper if we bought in house, and Shier said that each camera would cost an estimate of $300 per month to maintain.”

To pay for this, USUAA is looking to most likely dip into their budget, and are collaborating with the UAA administration and UPD to find other alternative solutions.

There is no clear date on when these cameras will be installed in the parking lots, as USUAA and UPD are still try to find the estimate cost of the cameras.