BYU-Idaho Campus Gets Increased Security, Surveillance

REXBURG, Idaho -- Campus police are beefing up the video surveillance system as the campus expands and technology becomes more affordable.

"We're learning as we grow," Sergeant Stephen Bunnell of campus police, said.

Several security cameras have been installed on campus; some will be installed during the current remodeling of the John L. Clarke, George S. Romney, Eliza R. Snow, and John W. Hart buildings, and additional cameras will be added in the future.

"You'll start seeing them in some buildings within the next 60 days and it will be a continuing process in the years to come," Bunnell said.

The specific number of cameras being installed has not been determined because the cameras are being installed as the funding becomes available and as the surveillance becomes necessary.

"We look at the building and try and prioritize to see if the building requires video surveillance," Bunnell said. "If they are not needed we use other types of security."

Surveillance is being updated because of the available technology not because of any change in the amount of crime.

Campus police consider what is inside the buildings as well as specific requests made by the departments.

In some cases, departments that would like additional security have come up with the funding needed for further security precautions.

Determining which buildings need video surveillance can be a challenge because reported security incidents in buildings tend to fluctuate from year to year said Bunnell.

Students and staff should know that the cameras are not being installed to invade privacy.

"The systems won't be hidden, they are for the students' safety and also for the protection of the University," Bunnell said.

He said that campus police are trying to avoid the appearance of Big Brother and still provide a secure campus.

"We won't have a room full of monitors with someone watching all the time," Bunnell said. "It's not our intention to invade anybody's privacy."

Touring other buildings like those at BYU and the Church office buildings has helped campus police establish efficient security here.

"We tour other buildings and they tell us what has worked and what hasn't worked, and that's how we find our direction," Bunnell said.