Elon’s security upgraded in wake of racial incidents

IMG_6296

Multimedia reporting by Dalton Cox

On May 6, Elon University’s Department of Campus Safety and Police announced its efforts, in partnership with Elon’s Industrial and Campus Technologies, to deploy 64 new security cameras throughout Elon’s campus in an ongoing security upgrade.

Elon currently hosts about 440 security cameras on campus, which have been successfully used in the past to solve crimes. The current upgrade will include the instillation of 50 additional cameras, 14 license plate-reading cameras and new storage servers.

“These cameras will be placed in strategic locations, where security of people and property will be enhance,” said Dennis Franks, director of Campus Safety and Police. “Upon the completion of this project we will have 500 cameras to assist our efforts in achieving our mission of striving to maintain a safe campus environment to work, live, and learn.”

FullSizeRender

Several Elon students expressed approval of the new camera instillation, though some were skeptical of the necessity of the upgrade.

“I don’t’ think it’s necessary, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” said Carrie Spicher, Class of 2016. “It’s the atmosphere of the bubble. We don’t have that many people around us. So I feel safe.”

Elon senior Nicole Costa approves of the upgrade.

“For the most part I do feel really safe,” Costa said. “I do, however, think the new security cameras are necessary, because of the recent events that have happened over this past year with people reporting slurs yelled on the street. I think it will be beneficial.”

The latest of such an incidents occurred on April 22 when a female African-American student reported that a racial slur was directed at her from passing car on Elon’s North O’Kelly Avenue.

“Using the new video cameras, we were able to identify the vehicle involved in the incident within 48 hours, and subsequently determined that the occupants of the car were Elon students,” said Smith Jackson, Elon’s dean of students. “One of the students is taking responsibility for using the slur, is remorseful, and is being held accountable to the office of student conduct.”

Spicher spoke about Elon’s campus climate and the recent incidents of racial slurs.

“Responsibility requires that we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions,” Jackson said.