Security Cameras

array of security camera screens

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Security camera systems enhance overall campus safety and security, deter crime and otherwise support the protection of people and property.

Security Cameras at UB

There is no higher priority at UB than the safety of the campus community. Security cameras are a valuable tool that University Police use to keep the community safe on a daily basis and during an emergency. Live video from these cameras is fed directly to the University Police Communications Center. Police Dispatchers have access to live and recorded video to help guide first responders to calls. 

How many security cameras does UB have?

The University at Buffalo currently has over 1,000 security cameras across the North, South and Downtown campuses.

Who can see the video feed from these cameras?

Our cameras feed into a server that has controlled access. Only University Police members are able to view the camera feeds from our blue light cameras. Some departments have installed their own cameras which feed into the main server. These departments can see the live video from their own cameras.

Where are the cameras placed?

Cameras are placed to observe areas along sidewalks, at entrances to residence halls, high traffic areas such as bus stops, and all of the exterior blue light phones in our parking lots. In the event that someone calls for help from one of these phones, our Dispatchers can see the person calling for help.

How long do you keep the recorded video?

The video server keeps recorded video for 30 days. If an incident is captured on video, a permanent recording is made and kept as part of the case record for the incident.

Can members of the public view video from the cameras?

In order to determine if there is a video recording, you must file a police report with the department. An Officer will be dispatched to your location to interview you. That Officer can determine if the area is recorded by our camera system and will be able to ensure that any recorded video will be saved. Recordings can be saved for many reasons:

  • Reported crimes
  • Suspicious people, vehicles or incidents
  • Incidents that may not be crimes but are violations of university policy
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • First aid calls

What about my right to privacy?

The university takes privacy concerns very seriously. We restrict access to the recorded video and we avoid placing cameras inside residential spaces (just at the entrances to dormitory or apartment areas). While there is no expectation of privacy in the public spaces on campus, we do protect the recorded video. We track every instance when video is accessed or saved.

How may I get cameras installed in our department?

Cameras can be installed in individual departments, at that department's own expense. The first step is to contact us and request a security survey of your space. An Officer who is certified in Crime Prevenstion through Environmental Design (CPTED) will work with your department to address safety concerns, including the potential need for cameras. Once that survey is done our technical staff will assist with getting quotes for installation and connection.

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