REG - 01.03.3 Security Cameras Regulation

Responsible Office:
University Police
University Police Department, 919-530-6106, [email protected]
Effective: August 2, 2018


1. Purpose and Principles

1.1 The purpose of this regulation is to establish procedures for the use of security cameras systems and institute parameters for assessing recordings and/or images from security cameras at North Carolina Central University (“NCCU” or “University”).

1.2 The principles of this regulation include enhancing the health and safety of the NCCU community and protecting university property, respecting the privacy of members of the NCCU community and guests, supporting the mission of the NCCU Police and Public Safety Department (“NCCU Police” or “NCCU Police Department”), and providing transparency in the use of security camera systems in achieving a safe and secure campus environment.

2. Scope

2.1 This regulation governs the use and/or access of security cameras for surveillance and investigation purposes and applies to all personnel, colleges, and departments of NCCU when installing and utilizing security cameras in public areas on campus.

2.2 Security cameras may be installed where:

2.2.1 installation of the requested cameras is necessary and appropriate to protect public safety or institutional property;

2.2.2 to detect, deter, and/or assist in the investigation of criminal activity; and

2.2.3 the proposed location of the cameras respects the reasonable expectations of privacy held among members of the NCCU community.

2.3 Areas of NCCU in which persons would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, but to which access is restricted to certain University employees, such as storage areas, shall also be considered public areas for the purpose of this regulation.

2.4 Security cameras are to be used exclusively for campus safety purposes or to secure campus resources.

3. Exclusions

Security camera systems are used for a variety of purposes at NCCU. Consequently, this regulation does not apply to video recording or monitoring used for operational purposes, academic purposes, media purposes or recording of public performances, events, or interviews provided that such activity is disclosed or readily apparent to those in view of the camera. Examples of such excluded activities would include videotaping of research subjects, athletic events for post-game review, videotaping of concerts, plays, and lectures, videotaped interviews of persons, use of security cameras, either overtly or covertly, on a short-term basis for legitimate law enforcement purposes including, but not limited to, the gathering of evidence for a criminal investigation, or police cameras in offices of the NCCU Police Department and patrol vehicles.

4. Public Records Exemption

Digital records created by campus security cameras are exempt from the provisions of the North Carolina Public Records Law. (N.C. General Statute. §132-1.4(a))

5. Definitions

5.1 Security camera is a camera used for monitoring or recording public areas for the purpose of enhancing community safety and monitoring restricted areas or equipment to discourage theft and other criminal activities, and for preventing, investigating, and resolving incidents.

5.2 Security camera monitoring is the real-time review or watching of security camera feeds.

5.3 Security camera recording is a digital or analog recording of the feed from a security camera.

5.4 Public area is any area open for public use where the expectation of privacy is not violated by what could normally be easily observed, including, but not limited to, the campus quad, parking areas, building exteriors, loading docks, areas of ingress and egress, lecture halls, an academic hallway, classrooms, study rooms, dining halls, lobbies, gymnasiums, and all outdoor areas.

5.5 Private areas are areas such as bathrooms, shower areas, locker and changing rooms, and private offices. Cameras that are narrowly used to secure money, documents and supplies from theft, destruction, or tampering, even when located in an area that would typically constitute a private area, are excluded from the definition of a private area.

5.6 Authorized personnel include designated individuals within the NCCU Police Department, as well as security camera system operators and supervisors.

6. Conditions and Responsibilities of Security Camera Operators

6.1 The NCCU Police Department is the department authorized to oversee and coordinate the use of security camera systems on NCCU’s campus and to ensure the safety and security of students, staff, faculty, and visitors of the University.

6.2 Security camera systems within the control of the NCCU Police Department will be monitored by NCCU Police Department authorized personnel only.

6.3 The NCCU Police Department has no responsibilities or conditions for monitoring security camera systems not within the direct control of the Department’s security camera system; the responsibility for monitoring other systems lie with the user of the system.

6.4 All police officers and telecommunicators will be required to attend and successfully complete any and all necessary training required by the State and/or University.

6.5 All police officers and telecommunicators will receive training to ensure proper operation and handling of security cameras and equipment from the respective installation company.

7. Security Camera Placement and Installation

7.1 The NCCU Police Department currently monitors security cameras located in public areas on campus.

7.2 The NCCU Police Department will consider the installation and/or monitoring of security camera systems at any public area on campus following discussion and agreement between the Department of Residential Life, Campus Enterprises, Information Technology Services, Facilities and the NCCU Police Department. No security cameras will be installed or monitored in those private areas with an expectation of privacy, such as restrooms, locker rooms, etc., except as set forth in Section 7.3.

7.3 Security cameras generally may not be installed in private areas of the campus without obtaining a warrant.

7.4 Consistent with the requirements of state law, security cameras utilized by NCCU will not record or monitor sound. Audio recordings shall be prohibited unless permitted by law and specifically authorized by the Chief of Police.

7.5 Video surveillance cameras shall not be placed in a position that is directed to or zoomed into the windows of any private residential building including residence halls.

7.6 The use of false/misleading signage or dummy/placebo cameras is prohibited.

7.7 Appropriate signage may be required to provide notice of the existence of security cameras and enhance the crime prevention value of the security cameras.

8. Access and Monitoring

8.1 NCCU has security camera systems in academic buildings, residence halls, and various locations across campus. These systems (and other systems which may be installed in the future) are stored and monitored in a secure data center with restricted access. Stored video data is password-protected.

8.2 Security camera monitoring and/or recording will be conducted in accordance with all existing University policies, including, but not limited to the Non-Discrimination Policy. Monitoring based solely on the characteristics and classifications contained in the Non-Discrimination Policy (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, etc.) is prohibited.

8.3 Security cameras may only be monitored by NCCU Police Department staff persons or other authorized personnel. No unapproved employees may monitor or view video for any reason except as necessary in the course of an investigation or adjudication.

8.4 If the NCCU Police Department deems it necessary, video clips or image stills may be released to the media or public to aid in an investigation or search. These images may be immediately shared with local law enforcement personnel, assisting with the rapid identification of suspects and/or the recovery of valuable property.

8.5 All NCCU Police Department personnel approved to monitor video shall receive a copy of this policy and provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understand this policy and the limits of their authorization. All applicable personnel will receive and acknowledge any and all updates or amendments to this policy.

8.6 Recorded security camera system video will be retained in accordance with the University Record Retention and Disposition Schedule.

8.7 Under no circumstance will any NCCU Police Department security camera operator post, or cause to be saved or posted, any images or videos to any online social media website, to YouTube or any other video posting website location.

9. Requests for Review or Release of Videos or Images

9.1 Members of the University community who wish to access and/or review security camera video for any reason must request the video from the Chief of Police.

9.2 If external access and/or review of security camera video is needed, a completed Security Camera Review/Release Request form must be submitted to the Chief of Police, who will consult with the Office of Legal Affairs, as appropriate, regarding the release.

9.3 Security camera system data may be accessed for the following purposes:

9.3.1 the investigation or prevention of criminal activity;

9.3.2 to help prevent and/or address threats to the safety of the campus, or to the life, health, or safety of any person or the theft or destruction of property;

9.3.3 in connection with threatened or pending litigation by or against the University and to respond to, or in connection with, lawful demands for information in law enforcement investigations, other investigations, and legal processes;

9.3.4 in connection with investigations of misconduct by members of the University community, if the investigation would advance a legitimate institutional purpose and there is a sufficient need for access to the security footage;

9.3.5 in support of and to review facility and University operations;

9.3.6 to document or monitor the progress of construction projects; and

9.3.7 for any other legitimate institutional purpose.

10. Extent of Disclosure

10.1 Only portions of the video or images relevant to an individual’s request will be released.

10.2 For investigation purposes, only video or images necessary to conduct a proper investigation will be released.

11. Destruction or Tampering with Security Camera Equipment

Any person who tampers with or destroys a security camera or any part of the security camera system may be subject to criminal prosecution as well as, in the case of students, to the campus judicial system.

12. Examples of Security Camera Monitoring and Recording of Public Areas

Legitimate institutional safety and security purposes include, but are not limited to the following:

12.1 Protection of Buildings and Property - Building perimeter, entrances and exits, lobbies and corridors, receiving docks, special storage areas, laboratories, cashier locations, etc.

12.2 Monitoring of Access Control Systems - Monitor and record restricted access transactions at entrances to buildings and other areas.

12.3 Verification of Security Alarms - Intrusion alarms, exit door controls, hold-up alarms.

12.4 Video Patrol of Public Areas - Transit stops, parking lots, public streets (enclosed and unenclosed).

12.5 Criminal Investigation - Robbery, burglary, and theft surveillance.

12.6 Protection of Pedestrians - Monitoring of pedestrian and vehicle traffic activity.

12.7 Protection of Individuals - Students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

13. Maintenance and Testing

13.1 Maintenance, such as cleaning camera lenses and on occasion re-mounting security cameras, will be conducted as needed by the contracted vendor. Actual repair outside of the above-mentioned maintenance will be completed by licensed repair companies.

13.2 NCCU Police Department personnel who identify any issues with the security camera system shall contact the Technology Officer who will contact the vendor to report the problem and request repair.

13.3 In the event of a mechanical malfunction or failure of a security camera system component, the NCCU Police Department personnel on duty will report camera failures to the Technology Officer as soon as practically possible.

13.4 Under no circumstances shall anyone, except certified technicians, attempt to service, repair or make major adjustments to any security camera systems or video recording equipment.