Campus & Community

Smile: PBSC to install 550 more security cameras

surveillance-SSecurity is about to get even tighter at Palm Beach State College.

The District Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to award a bid to install 550 additional security cameras college-wide.

John Smith, security director, said the cameras, expected to cost approxmiately $2 million, will serve as a deterrent to crime. Installation is expected to begin this summer.

“It’s not going to be a secret that the campus is covered. It should do what we want as far as hinder us from being a target. I’m confident that cameras will reduce crime on campus,’’ Smith said.

Smith said the College also has hired additional personnel in anticipation of the cameras, which will be closely monitored by security staff on each campus. The cameras will monitor buildings and parking lots and walkways. “Every vehicle that comes on campus we’re going to know it’s here and when it leaves,’’ he said.

The turn-key video surveillance system is the latest of several initiatives outlined in the College’s security plan that Smith created after joining the College in 2008.

The College also implemented an anonymous reporting system, an intercom system as well as BlackBoard Connect, a mass notification system in which students and employees receive emergency alerts via text messages, email and phone. In addition, the security team has implemented a behavior intervention program. As part of that program, staff closely monitors arrest reports and news reports, and it intervenes if necessary to reduce any potential threats of domestic violence or other crimes. “These are things we’re doing to protect our students and employees,’’ Smith said.

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