Administrators are considering installing surveillance cameras in parking structures at Long Beach State.
There’s currently no timetable on when students can expect to see cameras in the parking structures. Based on the discussions, it’s almost certain they’ll be installed in the near future, according to University Police Department Capt. Richard Goodwin.
President Jane Close Conoley and administrators are in discussions about how to best implement the camera system into the three campus parking structures.
“The barriers include cost of the technology and the staff to monitor and review [footage],” Conoley said in an email. “For example, should we have cameras just at the entrances and exits, or try to deploy at every level? There are pros and cons to both strategies.”
Conoley said that adding the cameras will help with student and property security. The cameras would also help the UPD identify suspects, especially with hit-and-run and vandalism cases in the parking lots.
On Sept. 10 a student at California State University, Fullerton reported that she was raped in a parking structure on campus, but there were no security cameras in the structure to help with the investigation. The next day it was discovered from footage from cameras near the structure that the incident did not happen at CSUF.
Instances like this may have prompted CSULB to consider installing cameras in the parking structures on campus.
The cost of the cameras is one of the obstacles holding the school back from implementing them. It’s not that the school isn’t willing to pay for extra security, they’re just looking for the most cost-efficient strategy, according to President Conoley.
“Cameras are very expensive, it’s not a low-dollar project,” Goodwin said. “Say you have cameras taking up all different angles…not being a camera expert, but I’d say you’re going to need 10 cameras on each floor. Then you have the logistics of plugging them all in and having screen [monitors] for them. It’s big bucks.”
For first-year mechanical engineering major Troy Diez, it’s the university’s responsibility to monitor the footage it receives seriously, and its actions will decide whether the cameras are worth the price.
“The immediate [return on investment] here is making the university seem like it cares, whether that’s true or not,” Diez said. “Unless someone is actually caught by a camera and the university takes appropriate actions to satisfy the wronged individual, [the cameras] are worthless by definition.”
This article previously misspelled President Jane Close Conoley’s name on first reference, the mistake was corrected Sept. 17 at 5:22 p.m.