Otterbein has multiple surveillance cameras located both inside and outside of residence halls and computer labs, according to Chief of Police Larry Banaszak.
Banaszak said the cameras are there for safety reasons, but would not provide the exact number of cameras on campus.
O.P.D. takes footage and stores it with the corresponding case report file, according to the their records retention procedure. Banaszak said the footage is only looked at in connection with a criminal investigation and is not monitored 24/7.
Information and Technology Services is responsible for the installation and replacement of the cameras. Depending on the equipment needed, the budget for the cameras fluctuates each year.
Banaszak said O.P.D. works closely with Information and Technology Services to make sure the cameras are working. They are checked on schedule, once a month. He said the cameras have been helpful before to the police in catching and prosecuting individuals accused of a crime.
"I can think of one residence hall where a flat-screen TV was pulled off the wall, and we got video of the suspect carrying the TV out," said Banaszak. "There have been examples like that of thefts around campus where the cameras have been very helpful for prosecuting purposes."
Banaszak cannot recall an instance where someone has been accused of a crime, requested video footage, and the footage did not exist. He said the cameras are a useful resource for the university because they are not only a source of evidence in investigations done by Otterbein police, but they act as a deterrent for criminal activity.
"We have a number of cameras on campus and that alone is going to deter crime," said Banaszak.
Hannah Vogel, a junior allied health major, has mixed feelings about the cameras.
"I feel it has both benefits and disadvantages," said Vogel. "I think it should be made known where the cameras are and that you are being recorded, but I think it is good for security purposes to have cameras around."
The Franklin University video surveillance policy, which was established in 2013, referenced Otterbein's policy as one of the main sources for which theirs was drafted from.