According to a University of Wisconsin statement, the university’s La Bahn Arena, a recently-finished hockey and swimming facility, was the first of many campus buildings that will be equipped with new IP security cameras under an initiative by the UW Police Department to enhance security on campus.
Sgt. Nicolas Banuelos of the UWPD said in an email to The Badger Herald these new security cameras will be a step up from the analog cameras UW buildings currently have because they have wireless capabilities and thus can be placed in more effective locations.
“IP cameras can be connected into a network anywhere on campus, rather than hard-wired to a digital video recorder,” Banuelos said in his email. “Additionally IP camera technology allows for more effective placement across campus.”
Banuelos added the IP security cameras produce images of higher quality than the current analog cameras as well. He said while the police department uses other forms of evidence in identifying criminals, these images help with the process of investigating crimes.
“In some cases camera footage can be helpful in solving crimes,” Banuelos said. “Cameras are a tool for the police department to use in the investigative process but we don’t rely only on the footage alone.”
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said security initiatives are also being taken by the City of Madison to install some additional security cameras around the downtown area.
Resnick added these cameras will be placed in high traffic areas around the city for the purpose of tracking who is entering and exiting busy areas.
“Right now the city will gain approximately 30 additional cameras, which will cost about $100,000 that was approved in the budget last night,” Resnick said. “[The cameras] will be going on the peripheries of the immediate downtown area and high traffic areas.”
Resnick added the new cameras will be an addition to the approximately 30 cameras already located throughout Madison’s downtown region.
Banuelos said the new IP cameras will be installed on campus buildings with outdated cameras in need of replacements. He said UW buildings will be evaluated and given the new cameras if deemed necessary.
Banuelos added he hopes these cameras will help prevent crime in the Madison community, something he said needs to involve everyone at the university.
Resnick said while the cameras might not be able to deter crime completely, he hopes they will aid in the process of persecuting criminals caught on camera.
“I truly believe that cameras don’t inhibit crime,” Resnick said. “However, on the side of catching criminals and the justice side of law enforcement, I think they are very valuable tools to make sure people who do commit crimes are prosecuted for them.”
Resnick said the installation of these new cameras and the security initiatives taken by the UWPD have been done separately from the City of Madison, but the UWPD and Madison are communicating frequently to ensure effective security advancements are made on both fronts.