Effort to add more security cameras on UAA's campus moving forward

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) There are about 500 security cameras on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Some you see, others are hard to spot. And in certain areas, there aren’t any at all.

“Which we really need because those are some of our hot spot areas,” said Alec Burris, student body president.

Hot spots for crime, like in student housing parking lots.

University police say last year on average, about 13 cars were either broken into or stolen every month.

“Somebody broke into my car, stole a couple things out of it,” said Burris.

Burris said it happened in a student residential area on campus where no camera was there to capture the crime.

“When we have students on a residential campus they need to feel like this is their home and that they feel safe,” said Burris.

So the pitch to police: add more security cameras around campus to enhance safety for students after many expressed concerns last school year.

Burris said the student body government is working with UPD and the administration to make it happen.

“Is it going to stop crime? No. Will it reduce it? That’s a good possibility and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Lt. Michael Beckner with University Police. “People are going to see the cameras, they may walk away but also we have a picture of somebody doing it.”

However, it won’t come cheap. Through an unfilled position, UPD was able to donate money to IT to help with funding, but it’s still expensive.

“You’re looking at easily in a parking lot for one camera $9,000,” said Beckner.

Some funds will come from the student body’s budget which is based on a fee system not associated with the university’s overall budget. Nonetheless, Burris has made it a priority.

The effort is moving fast. Beckner says University Police aim to add several security cameras in areas the student body government has recommended.

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