Cameras installed around North Campus

Tamonda GriffithsNews Writer

Residents of North Campus Residence complex have recently become equipped with new outdoor surveillance cameras. The project is in coordination with Residence Life staff.

University Chief of Police Joseph Dooley said there were cameras installed years ago. However, after automobile break-ins around New Haven and on campus last year, the university decided more were needed.

“So, that started the initial when we started to realize we needed some cameras up there,” said Dooley, “and then the townhouses didn’t have any in that immediate vicinity so, just in the interest of making sure we had better coverage there, that was the next project.”

Although, they already had coverage on the areas between the buildings and walkways, Dooley said around the mid-rise especially, the additional cameras added “much better coverage for everyone.”

The wiring of the system in the townhouses took place during Thanksgiving break, and the final installation of cameras was during winter break.

Robert DeMezzo, director of Residence Life, said last summer, he and Dooley had several conversations regarding installing the exterior cameras.

“It’s taken six months to get this entirely complete,” said DeMezzo.

They started to add more cameras in locations with low visibility and the least amount of traffic, such as the Ethnic Heritage Center parking lot, and have been expanding ever since, said DeMezzo.

While residence halls have front desk attendants, the North Campus townhouses do not, said DeMezzo.

“Some of the students said they felt a little isolated, I would say,” said DeMezzo. In result, the added security cameras and the programming of the cameras cost Residence Life approximately $15,000.

The funding, DeMezzo said, was budgeted out in building improvements and operational funds.

Nine new cameras were added to North Campus, he said with three remaining to be installed.

“We installed one very high-resolution camera in the back of the mid-rise that university police can actually move and look at very high resolution,” said DeMezzo. “The rest of them have been installed around the back of the parking lot and around the townhouses themselves.”

DeMezzo said it took several cameras to cover the four sets of townhouses behind the mid-rise, but they provide full-coverage all around the area.

“The cameras are really there for safety and security,” said DeMezzo. “We don’t monitor them unless there’s an incident or something.”

Ciara Thomas, senior and North Campus desk attendant, said there must have been a need for the added cameras.

“Maybe they’re better,” said Thomas. “Maybe they angle differently.”

Katelyn Wentz, a graduate resident hall adviser in one of the North Campus townhouses, said a lot of residents were pleased to have the cameras installed.

“A lot them also feel like, like they’re being more protected, so which is nice,” said Wentz, “and especially out here we don’t have the safety precaution of having to swipe into a building or having a desk attendant, so it’s – I think they feel better having them out here, for sure.

Photo Credit: William Aliou

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