Housing and Residence Life will install about 445 additional cameras in residence halls and staff offices across Ohio University’s campus by June, bringing the total number of cameras on campus to 800.
Steve Wood, chief facilities management officer and senior associate vice president for facilities management and safety, said the project is expected to be finished after running into some issues with cabling on West Green.
The original budget for the camera installations was around $1 million, but the final cost is unknown until the project is completed. The current estimate is around $850,000, Wood said.
Pete Trentacoste, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, said they have been installing video cameras in residence halls since 2012, whenever new construction or renovations were done on a building.
Housing and Residence Life decided to escalate the project on September 20, 2018, Trentacoste said.
The cameras are not monitored in real-time because of the of the amount of cameras, but they can be accessed by the Ohio University Police department and viewed in real-time if needed, he said.
“We just want to make sure that it can be an effective tool for police in investigative purposes and also for deterrence as well,” Trentacoste said.
Trentacoste said the decision to put cameras in staff offices is because master keys are signed out from those offices, and if there was a concern over a key being misplaced or a package being misplaced, they will have the footage.
Housing and Residence Life are sponsors of the cost of this project, but to “ensure the integrity” of investigations, they will still have to go through OUPD if they wanted to look into an incident, Trentacoste said.
Trentacoste said it is important to note that this project was approached similarly to the project Housing and Residence Life completed a few years ago when they switched all the entry points in residence halls to swipe card access instead of key access.
“I think that students have responded pretty positively to (the project), and we’re excited to see the project completed,” Trentacoste said.
Correction: A previous version of this report misstated the number of cameras being installed on campus. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.