CSU police unveil $300,000 in security upgrades - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

CSU police unveil $300,000 in security upgrades

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Columbus State University has unveiled $300,000 in security upgrades.

More than 300 cameras now look over CSU's main and RiverPark campuses. They feed directly back to CSU police headquarters, where officers watch the goings-on of daily life around the clock. The new system allows them to change the views, pause and rewind, and the hard drive stores video for 90 days back.

Security technology director Lt. Jeremy Reddish says it's a great improvement from where they were three years ago. "
The way that system was designed," he explains, "there was no more room for growth, so we had really exceeded its capabilities on what we could do with that system."

Just recently they were able to catch a bike thief using new mobile camera technology.

Reddish says the $300,000 grant the Georgia Board of Regents gave the university for the project three years ago was just what they needed to expand. "
The students' safety is important to us, so we wanted to get the most bang for our buck with that money," he says, "so it took a lot of research and putting together a solid plan so we knew we had a good system."

The system also includes license plate readers on cameras in the main parking deck. Reddish says having an open campus provides ample opportunity for unsavory characters to do their business, so they have to be on the lookout.

He says, "We're very sensitive to concerns about being too intrusive, so we're very selective over where the cameras are placed, but there has to be a balance between being too intrusive and student safety."

Cameras aren't the only part of the security upgrades. Now, in addition to the card access on all the dorms at the RiverPark campus, CSU police have added controlled access to the main campus buildings. The most interesting feature is that all doors on campus can be locked or unlocked at the touch of a button in case of emergency.

Other new features include the ability for dispatch to send an image from surveillance to an officer in that area if they see something suspicious. The police department is also repainting the emergency call boxes on campus so they stand out more.

The project is expected to be complete August 1.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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