Video Surveillance Policy

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Approved by:
    • Campus Safety
  • Last updated: June 30, 2015

Calvin College aims to provide a secure environment for members of its community and to protect personal safety and property, assisted by video surveillance systems technology. Such technologies, however, must be used only to meet the college's critical goals of security, and in a manner that is sensitive to interests of privacy.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of video security cameras on all property owned, leased or managed by Calvin College.

The Calvin College Campus Safety Department strives to enhance the quality of life of the campus community by integrating the best practices of public and private security with state of the art technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan is the use of video surveillance.

Policy

The use of video security systems is recognized as a tool in reducing unlawful activities in public places, and discourages vandalism, graffiti, and theft by assisting College officials and police officers in identifying unlawful offenders. The Calvin College Campus Safety Department is authorized to oversee and coordinate the installation and use of video equipment for safety and security purposes at Calvin College. Covert (hidden) camera surveillance may be used periodically when Calvin College experiences patterns of criminal activity to either persons or property. Information obtained through video recording will be used for security and law enforcement purposes and in compliance with Calvin College policy. A digital recording system will record events temporarily unless retained by Campus Safety as part of a criminal or civil investigation or as otherwise approved. The recording system shall have the capability of storing images for no more than 60 days; and unless these images are retained, the oldest image captured will be recorded over first.

However, information obtained will only be released with the authorization of the Director of Campus Safety or his/her designee. Video security recordings will be accessed only by designated Calvin College employees and may not be used for illegal or improper purposes.

Personnel involved in the use of video equipment will be appropriately trained and supervised in the responsible use of this technology, following all rules and regulations governing the use of video security systems. Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner, consistent with all existing College policies and limited to locations that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by Michigan Criminal Code section 750.539. In addition, cameras will not be installed in any area that would violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by the law.

The Calvin College Campus Safety Department will monitor new developments in the relevant laws and most recent security industry practices to ensure that video monitoring at the College is consistent with the highest standards and practices.

This policy applies to all Calvin College property and all faculty, staff and students in the use of video security recording and monitoring.

Purpose of Personal Recording Devices

In support of our mission to provide respectful service of the highest integrity, the Campus Safety Department recognizes the benefit of employing equipment and technology that will assist us in our ethical, legal and moral obligation to identify, collect and preserve the very best evidence of every encounter between our officers and the community. This is especially true where the possibility exists that our officers may determine it necessary to exercise their legal discretion, power, and authority, in concert with a security intervention, under the color of law. The Calvin College Campus Safety Department has, therefore, chosen the VieVu Personal Recording System to equip officers with the technology that is most capable of fulfilling our obligation and securing public trust. The implementation of the VieVu Personal Recording System will significantly assist the Campus Safety Department in obtaining an ever increasingly, higher degree of enhanced accountability to the community we serve and protect. Further, the personal recording device is used to record select events, providing a visual and audio record to supplement an officer’s report.

Campus Safety employees assigned a personal recording device shall comply with the Calvin College Video Surveillance Policy as well as the specific policy regarding the use of these personal recording devices.

Questions

(616) 526-6451

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