ASU Installing Security Cameras

JONESBORO, AR -- There are eyes in the sky at ASU. By the time students return for the fall semester, dozens of new security cameras will be patrolling near the residence halls.

Although the decision to install these cameras in the residence halls on campus was made months before the Virginia Tech shootings, any student who makes their home at ASU should now feel a lot safer knowing if anything is to happen, someone most likely will be held accountable.

"Cameras were installed some in discreet places, but mainly in entry exit ways so we can determine who's coming and going," says Patrick Dixon, the Director of Residence Life.

With the massacre on the campus of Virginia Tech only weeks behind us, extra security on any campus is a top priority.

"I think that that incident caused all universities to take a look at what measures they had in place and here at Arkansas State University I know that there have been a couple of meetings to discuss security measures here on campus," says Dixon.

Dixon says cameras were installed at the North Park Quads, Collegiate Park, Kays Hall and Arkansas Hall. That only leaves University Hall as the only residence on campus now without video cameras.

"It's based on traffic count. It's also based on where we've had incidents happen before," says Dixon.

The project was quite pricey for the residence life budget. Dixon says the total cost for the project came to just over $130,000. It's an expense he says will be an investment in the security of the campus.

"That will allow us to go back and review a specific incident and see who the players were at that incident and also what was going on around the scene at that time. So it will give our University Police Department a better tool in trying to solve some of those mysteries," says Dixon.

Latoya Watkins, a junior at ASU, lives on campus. With emergency phones, student and U.P.D. patrols, and the card access system to the halls, she says the security cameras just make her home on campus feel even safer.

"It will be able to cut down on a lot of crime on campus like with the fire alarms and a lot of burglaries. It will cut down on a lot of that now that we have the video cameras so it makes me feel a lot safer about campus," says Watkins.

Residence life told K8 News the cameras are not to monitor the students' life 24/7, but rather to review if needed.