Closed Circuit TV Camera Recording & Monitoring Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to monitor and record public areas for the purpose of safety and security.  Any use of cameras outside of these regulations is strictly prohibited.

This policy also applies to personal use cameras utilized by non-law enforcement personnel in student housing (on or off Campus) and any other area in which there is an expectation of privacy.  This policy applies to all properties owned or controlled by the College.

Scope

This policy applies to all Faculty, Professional Staff, Students, Visitors of the College, and the public utilizing College spaces.

Genera​l Principles

The Department of Public Safety is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the College Community by integrating the best practices of public and private policing with state of the art technology.  A critical component of a comprehensive security plan using progressive technology is Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), which has been proven effective in reducing criminal activity.

The purpose of CCTV monitoring of public areas by the Department of Public Safety personnel is to deter crime and to protect the safety and property of the College Community. Any diversion of security technologies and/or personnel for other purposes would undermine the acceptability of these resources for critical safety and is therefore prohibited by this policy.

Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner.  Video monitoring via the CCTV shall only be conducted by members of the Department of Public Safety.  Personnel involved in active video monitoring will be appropriately trained and continuously supervised in the responsible use of this technology. Violations of procedures for video monitoring referenced in this policy will result in disciplinary action consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees of the College.

Information obtained through video monitoring will be used for security and law enforcement purposes, and the Department of Public Safety will cooperate and assist with local police as requested with criminal investigations.  Information obtained through video monitoring will only be released to others outside of law enforcement when authorized by the Chief of the Department of Public Safety and/or the Vice President of Finance and Administration according to the procedures established in this policy.

Video monitoring of public areas for security purposes will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing College policies, and other recognized policies.  The code of practice for video monitoring prohibits monitoring based on the characteristics and classifications contained in the Non-Discrimination Policy (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, etc.).

CCTV video monitoring of public areas for security purposes at the College is limited to uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation to privacy as defined by law.

To maintain an informed College Community, the Department of Public Safety will periodically disseminate written materials describing the purpose and location of active CCTV monitoring and the guidelines for its use. The location of outdoor CCTV cameras monitored by the Department of Public Safety will be published in institutional publications.

Responsibilities

The Department of Public Safety is the department authorized to conduct, oversee, and coordinate the use of CCTV monitoring for safety and security purposes at the College.  Public Safety has primary responsibility for disseminating the policy and assisting other units in implementing the policy and procedures.

The Chief of the Department of Public Safety and the Vice President of Finance and Administration have the responsibility to authorize all CCTV monitoring for safety and security purposes at the College.  All new installations will follow the Department of Public Safety operating principles. All existing and future actively monitored CCTV monitoring systems will be evaluated for compliance with this policy.

The Department of Public Safety will monitor new developments in the relevant laws to ensure that CCTV monitoring at the college is consistent with legal standards and protections.

The Chief of the Department of Public Safety will assure the Department adheres to established policy and procedure in the use of CCTV and to review camera locations and request for release of video information.

The Chief or his/her designee will review all requests received by the Department of Public Safety to release recordings obtained through CCTV monitoring.  No releases of CCTV recordings will occur without authorization by the Chief or his/her designee.  Any release of video will be released to others outside of law enforcement when authorized by the Department of Public Safety Chief, his/her designee, and/or the Vice President of Finance and Administration according to the procedures established in this policy.  Any release of video will be recorded on a written request form.

Members of the community who have the possibility of being observed through the use of cameras may request to see live video of active monitoring; recorded video is not available for viewing. This request will be made to the Chie of the Department of Public Safety, and when convenient to do so, should be granted.  The viewing will not be permitted in the Dispatch area but on the CCTV management computer within Public Safety.

Procedures

All operators and supervisors involved in video monitoring of public areas will perform their duties in accordance with the practices consistent with this policy developed by the Department of Public Safety.

The Department of Public Safety’s management will assure that responsible and proper camera monitoring practices by control operators is continuous.

The Department of Public Safety will post signage at appropriate locations.  Signage will state:

This area is subject to video monitoring by the Franklin & Marshall College Department of Public Safety.

The Department of Public Safety will restrict views of residential housing interiors, both on and off campus.  With the assistance of masking technology, windows or doors that may allow a viewing or recording will be removed from sight. Only the Chief of the Department of Public Safety or his/her designee will be authorized to make changes to the masking applied to the system.

The Department of Public Safety’s central monitoring area will be configured to prevent camera operators from tampering with or duplicating recorded information.

Recorded video will be stored for approximately 20 days, unless retained as part of an investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the Chief of the Department of Public Safety.

Recorded video will be stored in a secure location with access by authorized personnel only.

Camera control operators will conduct video observation only of areas which are in plain view to the public.

Camera control operators will be trained in the technical, legal and ethical parameters of appropriate camera use.

  1. Camera control operators will receive a copy of this policy and provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understood its contents.
  2. Camera control operators will receive training in cultural awareness.  Camera control operators will not monitor individuals based on characteristics of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or other classifications protected by the College's Non-Discrimination Policy.
  3. Camera control operators will monitor based on suspicious behavior, not an individual's characteristics.
  4. Camera control operators will not spot and continuously view people being intimate in public areas unless there is a safety concern.
  5. Although masking technology makes viewing restricted areas impossible, camera control operators will not view private rooms or areas through windows.

Mobile video equipment to include portable hidden cameras with recording ability, may be used in criminal investigations as authorized by the Chief of the Department of Public Safety. Mobile video equipment may be used in non-criminal investigations; in specific instances creating significant risk to public safety, security, and property as authorized by the Chief of the Department of Public Safety.  

Examples of Video Monitoring and Recording of Public Areas:

Legitimate safety and security purposes include, but are not limited to the following:

Protection of Buildings and Property

  • Building perimeter, entrances and exits, lobbies and corridors, receiving docks, special storage areas, laboratories, cashier locations, etc.

Monitoring of Access Control Systems

  • Monitor and record restricted access transactions at entrances to buildings and other areas.

Verification of Security Alarms

  • Transit stops, marking lots, public streets, shopping areas, and vehicle intersections, etc.

Criminal Investigations

  • Robbery, burglary, assaults, arson, theft surveillance, etc.

Protection of Pedestrians

  • Monitoring of pedestrian and vehicle traffic activity.

Personal Use Cameras

Personal use cameras, used by non-law enforcement personnel, utilizing audio and/or video in student housing  (on or off Campus) or any area where there is an expectation of privacy, violates Pennsylvania and federal law, therefore, these cameras are strictly prohibited.  Charges both criminally and civilly can be imposed for violations.  This applies to all Franklin & Marshall College owned or controlled properties.

Violations

  • Franklin & Marshall College prohibits the use of cameras not consistent with this Policy.  Violating this policy could lead to termination/expulsion and criminal charges.
  • Videotapinig people in a bedroom, bathroom, locker room, or other location where one expects the area to be private, is a violation of their rights.  Recording people where there is an expectation of privacy violates their 4th Amendment rights.
  • In Pennsylvania, audio recording people without their consent is a violation of the Wiretapping law which could result in felony charges.
  • Criminal and civil charges may be filed if found in violation of this policy and the law.  Imprisonment and fines could result from violation.

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Policy Maintained by: Department of Public Safety, Associate Vice President for Public Safety
Last Reviewed: 04 March 2021