security camera

Cameras on Campus: Universities Embrace Surveillance Technology

  August 13, 2021

By Dan Hounsell

Rising security concerns among institutional and commercial facilities have led many facility managers to invest heavily in products and technology designed to ensure the safety and security of building occupants. In the case of one state’s universities, the number of surveillance cameras on campus might be surprising.

Michigan State University (MSU) has at least 1,038 surveillance cameras on its East Lansing campus and likely more, according to Fox 47. An MSU police official said they don't keep records of extra cameras placed on all campus buildings and inside businesses on campus. Most of those cameras are located at our sporting and entertainment venues.

More than 1,000 cameras on campus might seem like a lot. Turns out that, compared to other schools in Michigan, it's not.

The University of Michigan has about 2,800 cameras among all of its campuses. Central Michigan University (CMU) has 1,350 security cameras between its Mount Pleasant and Saginaw campuses. Grand Valley State University has about 1,500 cameras on its Allendale, Grand Rapids, and health campuses. CMU said its outdoor crime numbers have gone down as the university has added more cameras over the last 10 years.

​​As for privacy concerns created by the presence of surveillance cameras, Grand Valley spokeswoman Dottie Barnes said the university doesn't maintain a database of images and their system only stores data for 30 days. Officials from other Michigan universities said their schools don't use facial recognition technology. However, most use some form of motion detection.

Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.



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