A New First Line Of Defense

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The mugger grabbed the woman’s purse, pushed her against her car, and ran away… straight into a golf cart driven by campus police. The mugger was caught, placed in handcuffs, and held until county sheriff’s deputies arrived to take the miscreant away. The woman got her purse back. Then, turning to the security camera covering the action in the parking lot, Campus Police Sergeant Jack Emmett gave a thumbs-up to Campus Police Chief Sam Acres… and unhandcuffed Campus Police Officer Gregory Layne. The test was a success.

Fraleigh College isn’t the only gathering-place installing security cameras in order to make people safer. The Northside Church of Clement has also put the cameras up in its parking lots, monitored by a security officer in the office who is in constant radio contact with her fellows in the field. “We’ve got a lot of people here after dark – especially moms with their young children,” Security Director Christine Fargo said. “Pastor Jake asked me how we could make them safer.”

The answer Northside and Fraleigh both discovered was closed-circuit video monitoring of their parking lots and other open areas during hours of darkness. “During the daytime, we’ve got good visual coverage of these areas without cameras,” Acres assured me. “At night, with the recent uptick in violent crime, we decided we needed an extra edge. Fortunately, the Trustees agreed and ponied up for the system.”

Jacob “Pastor Jake” Pascal, Northside’s spiritual leader, also found the cameras to be a worthy investment. “We can only afford so many security officers. The cameras increase their effectiveness. They’re our new first line of defense.” With the new evening children’s programs at the church, Pascal says, it was time for new ideas. And with the new advances in camera technology, “it was a no-brainer,” Fargo said.

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