Parking lot security cameras: Why not?

John Bricker, Opinions Editor

Despite student support for security cameras in De Anza College’s parking lots, President Brian Murphy confirmed that camera installation is impossible without a change in budget.

Chief of Campus Police Ron Levine said, “A system capable of monitoring all of the De Anza parking lots would cost several hundred thousand dollars at best.”

Levine mentioned several factors that would make such a system expensive, including a wireless network, software and data storage.

Additional personnel would have to be hired to operate and maintain the video system, and the parking lots would have to be trenched in order to lay down cables.

Students concerned about safety have also been concerned about privacy and not much interested in video footage of their everyday lives,” said Murphy.

Instances like sexual harassment or car accidents can happen all the time and it is important for us to document these and see what causes them,” said Prashid Pokharel, 19, business administration major.

Emily Linlangdon-lassagne, 19, social and behavioral sciences major, said that she almost constantly sees near misses and accidents in the parking lots.

Levine said that a student petition circulated during the spring quarter requesting cameras in the parking lots, with reasons including overall campus safety and traffic accident surveillance.

Campus police department took 37 reports of hit and run accidents during 2016.

“We have rarely received a report of sexual harassment in the parking lots over the 14 plus years that I have been with the district police,” Levine said.

Levine supports the use of security cameras as a “force multiplier” citing their usefulness in conducting follow up investigations.

Murphy said that a lack of staffing and budgets would make real-time monitoring impossible, and that the system could lead to “a false sense of security if students believe the cameras are being monitored.”