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Following two serious incidents of sexual assault in Isla Vista in recent weeks, two temporary security camera towers have been erected near Embarcadero Hall and I.V. Theater as part of an ongoing criminal investigation and in an effort to help UCSB Administrative Services determine where to place permanent camera installations.
Each tower is approximately 25 feet tall and features five to six cameras each, with large lamps that hang off the shaft of each tower in order to provide lighting to the surrounding area. To respect the privacy of local residents and students, each camera is angled to avoid observing the inside of nearby university property and private residences, and the towers do not record any sound, according to UCSB Director of News and Media Relations George Foulsham.
There are signs on the towers that indicate they engage in “random remote video and audio surveillance,” and the cameras have been placed on the perimeter of campus. However, the camera footage is “not actively monitored” but can be retrieved to aid a criminal investigation, according to Foulsham.
“In addition to being a useful tool in the course of an investigation, it is hoped these cameras will serve as a deterrent and provide an added element of safety for our students,” Foulsham said in an email.
While the cameras have only recently been installed, Foulsham said UCSB has used security cameras on campus buildings for many years, as many universities do. He said the new cameras are intended to protect students and nearby residents, and UCSB Administration will seek the input of campus community members when taking similar security measures in the future.
“The safety and welfare of our students and campus community is our highest priority, and we will be working to solicit feedback from students, faculty and staff on these and other safety measures going forward,” Foulsham said.
Photo by Alejandro Gonzalez
This story appeared as an online exclusive on Friday, March 7, 2014.