Policy 88

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Security Camera Policy and Procedure
Policy #88

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus community by integrating the best practices of safety and security with technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan is the utilization of a security and safety camera system. The observation of public areas is intended to deter crime and assist in protecting the safety and property of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. This policy addresses the university’s safety and security needs while respecting and preserving individual privacy.

This policy is adopted to ensure the protection of individual privacy rights and formalize procedures for the installation of recording equipment and the handling, viewing, retention, dissemination, and destruction of recording records. This policy sets forth the manner in which security camera systems will be used to observe and record public areas for the purposes of safety and security.

This policy is not intended to imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each person is responsible for his or her own personal safety and security in accordance with University policy, state and federal law. Each individual is strongly encouraged to take proactive safety measures in regard to both personal property and individual safety.

The UW-Parkside Police Department (UWPPD) has the authority to select, coordinate, operate, manage, and monitor all campus security camera systems pursuant to this policy. All departments using security cameras systems are responsible for implementing and complying with this policy in their respective operations.

All existing uses of security camera systems shall be brought into compliance with this policy. Unapproved or nonconforming devices will be removed.

UWPPD, in conjunction with Campus Technology Services (CTS) and Facilities Management (FM) are responsible for realization and assimilation of the policy.

CTS, FM, and UWPPD are responsible for advising departments on appropriate applications of surveillance technologies and for providing technical assistance to departments preparing proposals for the purchase and installation of security camera systems.

CTS, FM, and UWPPD shall monitor developments in the law and in security industry practices and technology to ensure that camera use is consistent with the best practices and complies with all federal and state laws.

CTS, FM, and UWPPD will review proposals and recommendations for camera installations and review specific camera locations to determine that the perimeter of view of fixed location cameras conforms to this policy. Proposals for the installation of security cameras shall be reviewed by the Chief of Police or designee. Recommendations shall be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

UWPPD will review any complaints regarding the utilization of security camera systems and determine whether this policy is being followed. Appeals of a decision made by the Chief of Police will be made to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, who will render a decision. An appeal of the Vice Chancellor’s decision may be taken to the university Chancellor, who is the final arbiter.

This policy applies to all personnel, departments, and colleges of UW-Parkside in the use of security cameras and their video monitoring and recording systems. Security cameras may be installed at specific locations on university property (and property controlled by the university) to enhance the security and safety of individuals, university property and the campus community as a whole. The use of cameras shall be conducted in a manner consistent with this policy, state and federal law, and in a manner that does not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy of individuals as defined by law. Cameras may be placed inside and outside of buildings and structures. Although the physical cameras may be identical, the functions of these cameras fall into three main categories:

  • Property Protection: Examples: an unstaffed computer lab, an unstaffed science lab, or a parking lot.
  • Personal Safety: Examples: a public walkway, residence hall, or a parking lot.
  • Real Time Surveillance of Specific Location: In this case video may or may not be recorded. Examples: a computer lab or art gallery with multiple rooms and only one staff.

General Principles
Information obtained from the cameras shall be used exclusively for law and/or policy enforcement, including, where appropriate, student judicial functions. Information must be handled with an appropriate level of security to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure.

All appropriate measures must be taken to protect an individual’s right to privacy and hold university information securely through its creation, storage, transmission, use, and deletion.

All camera installations are subject to federal and state laws. Departments requesting security cameras will be required to follow the procedures outlined in this policy.

Placement of Cameras

All video camera installations shall be installed in a manner that is visible to the general public, except for cameras that are installed and/or used for law enforcement purposes (such as a criminal investigation).

The locations where cameras are installed may be restricted access sites such as a departmental computer lab.

Camera positions and surveillance of residential housing shall be limited to extenuating circumstances as determined by the Chief of Police, Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life.

Except as authorized for law enforcement purposes, including criminal investigations, security cameras will not be installed in the following locations:

  • Individual living spaces of students in the residence halls
  • Bathrooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Individual offices of administrators, staff or faculty
  • Classrooms not used as a lab

Access and Monitoring
The surveillance recording or monitoring of activities of individuals or groups through the use of university security cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with university policies, state and federal laws, and will not be based on a subject’s personal characteristics, including age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. All personnel with access to university security cameras should be trained in the effective, legal, and ethical use of monitoring equipment.

University security cameras are not monitored continuously under normal operating conditions but may be monitored for legitimate safety and security purposes that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • high risk areas
  • restricted access areas/locations
  • in response to an alarm
  • special events and/or
  • specific investigations authorized by the Chief of Police or designee

Access to live video or recorded video from cameras shall be limited to persons authorized by the Chief of Police or designee.

When an incident is reported, the personnel responsible for the area in question may request the Chief of Police to review the images from the camera. As circumstances require, the Chief of Police may authorize others to review images. A record log will be kept of all instances of access to, and use of, recorded material. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the authority of the UWPPD in law enforcement activities.

Appropriate Use of Information
Information that is recorded through the use of university security cameras, and is not considered “public” in nature, may only be used for official university and law enforcement purposes subject to the approval of the Chief of Police, his designee or the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, except as otherwise provided by law.

Notwithstanding the above, information that is acquired and/or observed through the surveillance or monitoring of university security cameras and that is not considered “public” in nature shall be protected from disclosure to persons who do not have a legitimate educational or operational interest in the information and/or incident, subject to the provisions of this policy, except as otherwise required by law.

Information obtained through the use of university security cameras that is considered “public” in nature (e.g. does not violate and individual’s right to privacy) shall be maintained in a manner that is consistent with other university-related records, information or documents, except as otherwise required by law.

The retention schedule will follow the laws of the State of Wisconsin and the Rules of the UW System.

This policy does not apply to:

  • Cameras installed or utilized for official law enforcement purposes, and/or criminal investigations, since they are subject to appropriate Wisconsin and Federal laws.
  • UWPPD audio/video recording equipment
  • Recording of public performances or events, interviews, or other use for broadcast or educational purposes, such as videotaping of athletic events for post-game review, videotaping of concerts, plays, and lectures, or videotaped interviews of persons.
  • Automated teller machines (ATMs), which may utilize cameras.

Procedure for Security Cameras: 
The following procedures shall be used by university personnel, departments and colleges in regard to the use of university security cameras on campus property: 

Individual colleges, departments, programs, personnel, or campus organizations interested in installing security camera equipment shall submit a written request to their appropriate dean or director which contains a description of the proposed location of a security camera(s), a justification for the need of surveillance and/or a security camera, and the identification of the funding source(s) for the purchase and ongoing maintenance of the security camera system. Each individual college, department, program, or campus organization is responsible for all costs associated with hardware, installation, maintenance, and licensing of security camera devices and recording systems. 

Upon receipt of the information above, the dean or director will conduct a review of the request and submit a copy to the Chief of Police or his designee along with a recommendation for either approval or denial of such request. The Chief of Police will review the request, consider the recommendations made, and then forward the request and his or his designee’s recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration for approval. The Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration’s decision shall be final. 

CTS shall oversee the installation of all approved security camera systems with the assistance of the UWPPD, and Facilities Management, as required. 

Purchasing will not accept, approve, or process any order for security camera systems without the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. 

Camera control operators shall be trained in the appropriate use of cameras on campus.  Camera control operators shall receive a copy of this policy and provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understood its contents. 

The operation of Security cameras and the observation and/or recording of information obtained through the cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with this policy and any other applicable university policies. Camera control operators shall not view areas that are excepted from this policy, including areas that are considered and expected to be “private” in nature, such as bathrooms, private rooms or other areas through windows. All operators and supervisors involved in video recording and observation will perform their duties in accordance with this policy. 

Storage and Retention of Recordings 
All video records shall be stored in a secure university centralized location.  The records will be retained based on state law and UW System policy for records retention.  Individual departments shall not store video recordings. Video recordings shall not be modified, erased or altered in any manner unless specifically authorized by the Chief of Police or other judicial authority. 

A log shall be maintained of all instances of access to or use of video records. The log shall include the date and identification of the person or persons to whom access was granted. 

Computer monitors and access levels will be configured to prevent camera operators from tampering with or duplicating recorded information. 


*Revised: Spring 2018, Fall 2022

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