Security cameras have become a very useful in enhancing the security of schools and universities. With campus violence on the rise, security cameras will certainly make a lot of students and teachers feel safer in school. Security cameras are of great help of the school’s security personnel.
The Latest Technology
Some school systems already have security cameras in place. They plan to up the ante by utilizing face recognition technology to spot potential perpetrators. This technology can filter unfamiliar faces or faces that are known to be prohibited from entering the premises. This gives further protection to students and faculty. But it does not come cheap. It is known to cost thousands of dollars. However, if the technology prevents the loss of life, this cost will be more than worth it.
If these installations prove successful, other schools could follow suit. Law enforcement authorities do not seem to mind the help at all. These schools will record digital images of their students and faculty and store them in the system. When security cameras detect a face that is not present in the database, the system alerts security personnel. This system could also detect students that have been suspended or expelled as well as employees that have been terminated.
Liberties Infringed Upon?
It is not a surprise that civil libertarians decry the value of security cameras. According to them, face recognition does not work very well in practice. They say that schools should not become a prison where everyone is constantly monitored. Some worry about the potential invasion of privacy that this type of technology could make possible. They say that school authorities should not have the ability to track a person’s every movement.
Despite those points, schools have become increasingly open to the idea of security cameras on their premises. Perhaps this is because of all the grisly shootings that become more and more common. The sad fact is that although a school may want security cameras, it may not be able to afford them. Some urban schools have to make do with radio-frequency cards to track their students. Some merely check visitors’ names against a list of criminals. There was a case of an elementary school in Arizona that already had a face-recognition system since 2004. However, it was never used because of concerns that the system might tag innocent people.
Admittedly, security cameras are far from perfect. Poor lighting or poor angles can render them ineffective. Also, face recognition is not a perfect science. Some subjects may still get by if there are significant changes to their appearance.
But all things considered, security cameras are a great help to campuses. Though not perfect, their benefits outweigh their disadvantages. Face recognition technology will also progress. It is just a matter of balancing the rights of individuals against the rights of society. If used properly and responsibly, surveillance technology can indeed prevent the sad tragedies that seem so common place in schools today. And if that’s the benefit, then financial costs will seem almost negligible.