One of the nearly 200 cameras on Paramus campus//Jessica Rodriguez

One of the nearly 200 cameras on Paramus campus//Jessica Rodriguez

By Brendan Daly, News Editor

There is a growing worry on campus due to the lack of an official policy for the College’s surveillance cameras. “My concern is that there doesn’t appear to be any regulation with camera use. And in order to know that it’s being used properly, ethically and not for intimidation, there needs to be guidelines,” said head representative of the Support Staff, Albert Legge.

“We don’t have a policy on the cameras,” said William Corcoran, the Vice President of Facilities, Planning, Operations and Public Safety . “But the cameras are purely for mine and your safety on this campus.”

After the lack of policy was brought to the attention of Public Safety of the lack of policy, Corcoran and the Executive Director of Human Resources James Miller have discussed plans to create one.
Since the implementation of the cameras, a detectable increase in safety has occurred. There has been a 75 percent increase in lost or stolen items being retrieved, according to the Office of Public Safety.

“I do think they are very useful. If I am ever in a dangerous situation, I know that if I file a suit, they will be able to see what happened. But I do think that there should be limits and regulations as to how the cameras are used,” said Bergen Student Noemie Broussoux-Coutard.

Several Public safety officers, who have asked to remain anonymous due to fear of discipline, have also expressed
that while cameras with a clear policy on their use is beneficial; officers are concerned as to whether they are being used a form of management control.

“There would be a disciplinary action if it did happen, there is no question about that,” said Miller. “If somebody was misusing it to watch employees and not using it for the purpose of safety on campus we’d have to investigate it. We do not take discipline lightly here, especially if it is something like this,” added Miller.

Each of the cameras cost about $6,000, most of which was covered by a series of three grants. The first of which was from the College itself back in 2008 (for just about $300,000,) and the next two were from Homeland Security, each of which was for $150,000, according to Corcoran.

According to Corcoran there is an estimated 200 cameras, and the camera monitors are under watch in the Public Safety office. There are five monitors, each of which is split into four smaller screens so the officer on duty can watch 20 cameras at a time. An officer has the ability to flip through all of the cameras as he or she pleases. Camera recordings loop approximately every 21 days.

Currently, however, there is no specific qualification for camera monitoring. “[It’s too early] to know as to how the policy is going to be written. But we are writing one right now,” added Corcoran.