Kerry Phelan ’16, Staff Writer
The signs gave the heads-up: Over winter break, new security cameras were installed in the residence halls. With them came the question: Is the added measure really necessary?
In all, approximately 45 cameras are now located throughout the campus, in residence hall lobbies, quad areas, parking lots, and the campus center.
According to Police Chief Michael Delgreco, the extra cameras are meant simply to add of the safety and security of the campus. He said the cameras can be an investigative tool for police, useful to investigate thefts or other student complaints. The cameras record continuously but the tapes are only viewed when an incident has occurred, and already they have helped police identify suspects.
“Some of these incidents may not have had a positive result if it were not for these cameras, and we also have received positive feedback from those victims,” said Delgreco.
Student reactions to these cameras were mixed, with some undergrads concerned that the new measures are not only an invasion of privacy, but unnecessary given the size of the campus.
However, police noted the cameras are mounted only in public areas and will never be used in residence hallways, rooms, or other private areas.
Said Delgreco, “The decision to add additional cameras around campus was a proactive one. Though the college is a safe environment, as we grow in population and number of buildings, we continue to look for ways to guard and maintain the overall safety of our residents, staff, and visitors.”
“If it’s for my safety, I can’t really complain, I guess, as long as they are not abused,” said freshman Kathleen Mooney. As Merrimack continues to expand, students should expect to see more cameras being added to public areas. Other students suggested they be placed near the fire alarms to combat the number of alarm pulls taking place this year on campus.