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campus security: [September 2010]

Preventing Campus Crime with Cameras
From "Preventing Campus Crime with Cameras" by Michael Fickes, College Planning & Management, August 2010

A new technology called video analytics is being used at Johns Hopkins University to prevent crimes such as robbery, assault, burglary, arson, and worse. The technology uses cameras to monitor people, cars and other moving objects, as well as abandoned and stationary objects. Video analytics applications can be programmed to pay special attention to behaviors that might indicate a security or safety problem and to notify a human being, who will make a judgment about whether or not the behavior in question needs to be investigated further. Recently at Hopkins, a video camera trained on an alley picked up three people converging on a lone woman. Software operating in the video system reacted by sending an alarm to the university's security center and the video to a large monitor in the center, where a security officer studied the video. Seeing a developing crime, he instantly dispatched a nearby security vehicle. When the security vehicle arrived in the alley, the hooded men fled. Since Hopkins started using the technology, serious crime rates have dropped. In 2003, prior to the installation of the video analytics system, Hopkins' Homewood campus reported 52 serious crimes: five aggravated assaults, two incidents of arson, 17 burglaries, two forcible sex offenses, 18 motor vehicle thefts, and eight robberies. In 2009, the Homewood campus reported a total of three serious crimes: a robbery and two stolen cars. During that time, the campus has not only added video analytics, but also increased the size of its security staff, modernized its equipment, and integrated a number of new technologies into the system. 

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