B-10-0 Video Camera Systems
Background and Procedures: The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of camera systems used to observe and record public areas for the purposes of safety and security. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be actively monitored. The College supports the use of video cameras on the campus as a means to monitor and maintain a safe campus environment for students, employees and guests.
To ensure the protection of individual privacy rights in accordance with the college's core values and state and federal laws, this policy is adopted to formalize procedures for the installation of surveillance equipment and the handling, viewing, retention, dissemination, and destruction of surveillance records.
General Statement: Video camera (or Closed Circuit Television) use is part of Central Oregon Community College's ongoing efforts to deter, detect, and delay threats to the campus community as well as share information of interest to the public.
Specific benefits to the College include:
- Deterrent to criminals
- More security coverage without additional personnel
- A signal to students and their families about COCC's security standards
- Timely and accurate investigations
- Coordinated incident management
- Improved information relay to first responders
- Remote viewing of construction projects
- Remote viewing of weather conditions
This policy applies to all college-owned, leased, or controlled property, and includes public spaces such as offices, common areas, and labs, with the exception of restrooms, locker rooms, or other areas addressed in the policy. Furthermore, this policy applies to all staff, students, outside vendors and contractors, as well as guests of the College.
The content of the video recording is a student and college record subject to administrative regulations regarding confidential student records. In most instances, only those persons with legitimate educational or security purpose may view video. Exceptions-the person or persons requesting to view video, or video footage, has a part in or serves a purpose in the investigation of a crime, code of conduct violation, significant campus safety concern or campus policy violation.
All recording or monitoring of activities of individuals or groups by college security cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with college policies, as well as, state and federal laws, and will not be based on the subjects' personal characteristics, including age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. Furthermore, all recording or monitoring will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner.
The College uses video cameras to monitor public areas in order to deter crime, improve safety, assist student services, and to increase accountability of the College and its patrons. Any diversion of camera technology for other purposes is prohibited.
Authorized purposes for camera monitoring include, but are not limited to:
- Protection of individuals, property and buildings
- Confirmation of alarms
- Patrol of public areas
- Investigation of criminal activity
- Weather alerts and traffic information
- Construction site monitoring
Information obtained through video monitoring is used exclusively for safety, security, employee and student conduct, and construction site monitoring purposes. Recorded images will be stored in a secure manner with access by a limited number of authorized staff.
Video monitoring of public areas at the college is limited to uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy.
The use of video cameras for security at COCC will be oriented to surveillance of areas regularly visible to the public and having a direct implication for public safety. This may include, but not be limited to:
- Building entrances and exits
- Lobbies and waiting areas
- Parking lots
- Points of sale/transaction
- Bus and shuttle stops
- Areas with high value assets (galleries, computer labs, specialized storage)
- Testing areas
- Use of video cameras at COCC is prohibited in the following areas:
- Any area designed to accommodate changing of clothes
- Locker rooms
- Designated lactation areas
- Individual employee work spaces (except those working at points of sale or frequent contact, e.g. retail, financial aid, reception)
- Conference rooms (excluding teleconferencing technology)
Network connectivity for video camera use must comply with Information Technology Services policies and procedures.
All recording or monitoring of activities of individuals or groups by college security cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with college policies, as well as, state and federal laws, and will not be based on the subjects' personal characteristics, including age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. Furthermore, all recording or monitoring will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner. All personnel with access to college security cameras will be trained in the effective, legal, and ethical use of monitoring equipment.
College security cameras are not generally monitored continuously under normal operating conditions but may be monitored for legitimate safety and security purposes that include, but are not limited to, the following: high-risk areas, restricted access areas/locations, in response to an alarm, special events, maintenance purposes, functionality purposes and specific investigations authorized by the President or their designee.
Monitoring of security video cameras at COCC will occur on an as needed basis by the Department of Campus Public Safety. This means that the system may not be constantly monitored by Campus Public Safety, but it will be consistently active and available for viewing by Campus Public Safety staff.
Campus Public Safety officers will only monitor security video cameras from the Campus Public Safety office or from Campus Public Safety vehicles unless authorized by a supervisor.
Campus Public Safety staff must document all reportable observations in detail on the Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system.
Campus Public Safety staff will monitor security video cameras:
- During active incidents involving violence, suspicious circumstances, Campus Public Safety responses to calls in monitored areas
- At unscheduled times to augment foot and vehicle patrol
- During investigations
- During special events
- When an on-site response may compromise safety or effective investigations
Campus Public Safety personnel will not engage in the following as part of monitoring:
- Repositioning of cameras for observations of activity not related to public health and safety
- Viewing of cameras remotely unless authorized by a supervisor
- Viewing of areas excluded from monitoring in this policy through windows, reflections, or other secondary means
Instances Where Stored Video Footage Would Be Released:
1. Stored Video Footage may be copied and transferred to any entity named in a Court Issued Subpoena.
2. Stored Video may be used by Campus Public Safety for the purpose of investigation in an incident or as evidence in a reported offense. Authorization to retrieve, review, and release information pertaining to an investigation is restricted to the President or their designee.
3. Stored Video may be copied and transferred to any Law Enforcement agency who requests that footage for the purpose of furthering or supporting an investigation of a crime.
4. Stored Video may be copied and transferred to the Department of Student Life upon written request when it will be used in any student judicial proceeding with the approval of the President, or their designee.
5. Video footage which is intended to be used to investigate and/or support an allegation of employee misconduct may only be searched for and stored by the Office of Human Resources with the approval of the President or their designee.
6. Any additional requests will be approved by the President or his/her designee.
All use outside of the above instances where stored video footage would be released is prohibited. This could include the follow examples, but are not limited to:
- No video surveillance footage may be saved or used for personal use
- No video surveillance footage may be saved and stored on personal removable devices
- No video surveillance footage may be transmitted to any social media site or personal webpages
- No video surveillance footage may be used for financial benefit
Recording, Storage, and Stored Data Access:
While Campus Public Safety will not constantly monitor the security camera system, footage will be recorded and stored whenever Campus Public Safety is actively using a security camera, or if triggered by some other means such as motion or analytic programming.
Personnel are prohibited from using or disseminating information acquired from college security cameras, except for official purposes. All information and/or observations made in the use of security cameras are considered confidential and can only be used for official college and law enforcement purposes upon the approval of the President or designee. Personnel are expected to know and follow this policy.
Data recorded by security video cameras will only be accessed by Campus Public Safety staff from a Campus Public Safety office computer, vehicle, or other College owned device.
When accessing stored data, Campus Public Safety personnel will fill out a form that documents the following:
- The security camera(s) used during the incident;
- Any pertinent information gathered by the camera(s); and
- The name and signature of the CPS supervisor authorizing the investigation along with the date and time of access
All surveillance records shall be stored in a secure location for a period of 30 days and will then promptly be erased or written over, unless retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the President or their designee.
Data recorded by security video cameras will be stored for no more than 30 days unless such images have historical data related to public safety incidents or Campus Public Safety investigations that may result in litigation. Any questions about the storage of this data should be directed to the Director of Campus Public Safety. Requests for information release will be submitted to Campus Public Safety and Risk Management.
Quality Assurance and Accountability Procedures:
All personnel with access to college security cameras will be trained in the effective, legal, and ethical use of monitoring equipment.
Campus Public Safety's supervisory staff will provide ongoing oversight of security video camera operator activities and performance, including periodic, unscheduled reviews of the network digital recorder.
When an incident is reported, the personnel responsible for the area in question may request the Campus Public Safety to review the images from the camera. As circumstances require, the President, or their designee, may authorize others to review images. A record log will be kept of all instances of access to, and use of, recorded material.
In addition, periodically and without prior notice, Campus Public Safety administrators will have their employees demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of relevant policies, procedures, and technical skills.