By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
Baylor’s department of public safety recently completed the first phase of a four-phase security project designed to increase campus safety by installing cameras around the perimeter of campus.
Brad Rosebure, director of technical security, said the perimeter security camera system is the next step in a layered security system to protect students on campus.
“We’ve been working on this project for months and are very excited to continue its implementation,” Rosebure said.
The first phase was installing cameras from Dutton Avenue to University Parks Drive. In phase two, which the department started working on about two weeks ago, cameras will cover Eighth Street. For phase three, the department will install cameras behind Armstrong Browning Library and Waco Hall and will span from Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation to Bagby Avenue to University Parks Drive. Finally, for the fourth phase, the department will install cameras along University Parks Drive to Dutton Avenue.
Mark Childers, associate vice president of public safety and security, said there was an idea to increase security staff, which includes staff to monitor the cameras 24/7. The cameras are not actively monitored, but the footage is available to be reviewed if there is an incident. Childers said he hopes this idea will be in place this fall.
“We are constantly reassessing campus and seeing how we can make it safer,” Childers said. “We want to be better today, better tomorrow, and keep campus safe.”
About a year ago, staff from the department of public safety visited Virginia Tech and Yale and saw similar exterior monitoring systems to what is being implemented at Baylor.
“We have a very aggressive security platform,” Rosebure said. “We were the first in the Big 12 to have metal detectors at the football stadium. We want to be cutting edge when it comes to the safety of our campus and our students.”
Some cameras can be seen on lamp posts along the Bear Trail and on streetlights along Dutton Avenue. Rosebure said the cameras are designed to blend into campus and not interfere with the campus aesthetic.
Baylor already has over 800 cameras that monitor building entrances, parking garages and other public areas, according to the department of public safety’s website.
“Being able to quickly view reported events and reviewing video post incident provides another tool to enhance the overall safety of the campus,” the website explains.
Rosebure said the department of public safety plans to have the perimeter security camera system, which has been referred to as “the invisible fence project,” completed by September.
“Our campus is already extremely safe, and these additions are only going to make campus safer,” Childers said. “Our goal is always to make campus safer. We are never going to be satisfied. We will always continue to improve campus.”*
*This story was updated with a new graphic on Aug. 24.