Molinari: Camera upgrades planned for lots

Camera upgrades are coming to Castleton parking lots after recent acts of vandalism.

After a string of recent on-campus vehicle break-ins and vandalism, students wonder what kind of action is being taken to stop future incidents.

Public Safety officials believe the vandalism to be random, drunken actions from through-traffic up and down South Street late at night, while others think the break-ins may be drug related.  

“Seeing my window smashed and all of my belongings rummaged through was a horrible feeling. Since the incident, I don’t feel as safe here at school,” said Danielle Pickard.

Students expressed confusion as to why the campus doesn’t have a camera system in place, overseeing parking areas. Their confusion grew upon hearing that there is in fact a system in place.

“It’s very unsettling knowing what can potentially happen without anyone finding out who did it. I’m surprised to hear that we have cameras in the South Street lots” said Ajla Medic, a student with a car on campus.

Keith Molinari, the director of public safety, said help is on the way.

“We have constantly running camera’s…but there’s some issues with them. When they were installed, they were good for the time, but they’re in the process of being upgraded,” he said.

For Medic, the upgrades can’t come soon enough.

“The sooner they get replaced or updated, the better,” she said

But students say comfort could be taken until the time of the updates through identification of current suspects of the vandalism.

“It would be nice to find the people who have been doing the destruction and also I think it would stop people from doing it knowing that there are cameras watching,” said Tori Fischer, who has a car on campus.

Molinari said figures can be seen through footage of the parking lots, but seeing “a pair of jeans and a grey hoodie” doesn’t do much good for identification purposes. He said the current upgrades will likely continue into the future.

“What we ideally want to do is set up a great technology infrastructure so we can continue over time to add more cameras,” he said.

The creation of this camera infrastructure depends on funds allocated to the project and the ability of vendors and equipment. Timing also plays a key role because setting up cameras isn’t the best in the winter or when students are around, Molinari said.

Molinari refers to the Castleton campus as a “small village,” working together as a community, and part of that community is its safety.

“Money is not the driving factor here, money has to be spent…on many different safety aspects here. You have to make tough decisions on where those funds go,” he said.

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