Welcome to Farmingdale State College’s Policy Library. This library is the official repository for all institutional policies and procedures and is intended to be a resource for faculty, staff and students seeking information related to the policies that govern the institution. This library does not contain department-specific policies and procedures. Please contact the department for specific departmental policies and procedures.
Please direct all questions regarding policy content to the Responsible Office listed on the respective policy.
Farmingdale State College Video Surveillance Policy
The purpose of this policy is to regulate the installation and assure appropriate use of video cameras/surveillance equipment on campus.
Faculty, Staff, Students, Third-Parties
The New York State University Police at Farmingdale State College operates a public safety video surveillance system to complement its campus security; to effectively allocate and deploy personnel; and to enhance safety and security in public areas. Farmingdale State College respects the privacy of campus community members and strives to balance that privacy with campus safety needs. The College reserves the right to place cameras on campus where necessary and appropriate. Only video surveillance equipment approved by University Police shall be utilized. Video surveillance will only be conducted in public areas and in a legal and ethical manner while recognizing and protecting constitutional standards of privacy.
This policy only applies to public safety video surveillance systems operated by University Police. It does not apply to mobile audio/video systems, covert audio/video systems or any other image-capturing devices used by University Police.This policy does not apply to legitimate academic use of cameras for educational purposes, to cameras used for journalism, or to private cameras owned and operated by members of the campus community.
The following guidelines apply to placement of cameras on campus:
- University Police is responsible for approving all locations of temporary or permanent video surveillance technology in public areas of the campus. When necessary, guidance from legal counsel will be sought for making such determinations.
- Cameras are placed in strategic locations throughout the campus to detect and deter crime; to help safeguard against potential threats to the public; to help manage emergency response situations; and to assist College officials in providing services to the community.
- Cameras may not be installed in private areas or to infringe on an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Some camera placement exceptions include cameras used to secure money, documents, supplies, or pharmaceuticals from theft, destruction, or tampering.
- Empty, dummy, or placebo cameras will not be used.
The following guidelines apply to camera use on campus:
- Cameras will only record video images and not sound.
- Cameras will not be directed or zoomed into the windows of any private residential building including residence halls.
- Recorded images may be used for a variety of purposes. This would include investigations of potential criminal acts and violations, compliance with regulations such as FOIL requests, and violations and enforcement of federal, state, county, State University of New York and College laws, policies, procedures, rules, regulations, and other applicable oversight requirements as well as monitoring of activity around high-value or high-threat areas. Prior to releasing video footage, the face and identifying features of those on video but not of interest to the investigation will be blurred. The public safety video surveillance system may be useful for the following purposes:
- To prevent, deter, and identify criminal activity and assist in identifying,apprehending, and prosecuting offenders.
- To respond to critical incidents or manage crowds.
- To document officer and offender conduct during interactions to safeguard the rights of the public and officers.
- To augment resources in a cost-effective manner.
- To monitor pedestrian and vehicle traffic activity.
- To monitor critical infrastructure and assist with property protection.
- To verify access to buildings and determine the nature of alarms.
- Public safety video surveillance equipment shall not be used in an unequal or discriminatory manner and shall not target protected individual characteristics including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Video surveillance equipment shall not be used to harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group.
Video, images, and recordings may only be monitored by University Police Officers and other personnel as needed and authorized by the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police may authorize video feeds from the public safety video surveillance system to be forwarded to a specified location for monitoring by personnel other than University Police.
University Police is responsible for training police officers and other authorized personnel in effective, legal, and ethical use of the monitoring equipment. Real time monitoring of cameras within the public safety surveillance system is neither implied nor guaranteed. Staff responsible for installation and maintenance of surveillance equipment may access recordings only to the extent necessary to carry out their duties.
Storage and Retention of Media
All recorded video images gathered by the public safety video surveillance system are for the official use of the New York State University Police at Farmingdale. All downloaded media will be stored in a secure area with access restricted to authorized University Police personnel. Recordings not related to or used for an investigation or litigation shall be kept for approximately 90 days. No attempt shall ever be made to alter any recording. Editing or otherwise altering recordings or still images, except to enhance quality for investigative purposes or blur features, is strictly prohibited.
A recording needed as evidence shall be copied to a suitable medium and booked into evidence in accordance with established evidence procedures. All actions taken with respect to retention of media shall be appropriately documented by University Police.
Images from each camera will be recorded in a manner consistent with the underlying purpose of the particular camera. Unauthorized recording, viewing, reproduction, dissemination, or retention of anything documented by public safety surveillance equipment is prohibited.
- Requests for the purchase and installation of cameras and other surveillance equipment must be made to University Police in writing by department heads. No cameras or safety surveillance equipment can be purchased without prior approval from University Police.
- Requests for necessary personnel to monitor camera images and recordings must be pre-approved by the University Police Chief.
- Requests for recorded video images must be made to the Chief of Police.
- Requests for recorded images from other law enforcement agencies shall be referred to the Chief of Police for release in accordance with a specific and legitimate law enforcement purpose.
Private Areas – areas including residence hall rooms, restrooms, shower areas, locker and changing rooms, and areas where a reasonable person might change clothing. Additionally, rooms used for medical, physical, or mental therapy or treatment, and their entrances and exits.
Public Areas – all areas not specifically defined as Private Areas by this policy.
Reasonable Expectation of Privacy – is an expectation of privacy generally recognized by society and established case law.
Temporary – video surveillance cameras are defined as cameras that are established by University Police to provide additional security for a campus event or situation, and that are not in place for more than 30 days.
Permanent – video surveillance cameras that are established as part of the campus infrastructure and require planning and approval.
Video Surveillance System – the collection of cameras owned by the College used to advance the safety and security of the campus community, along with the related infrastructure and software needed to store and access the images recorded by the cameras.
Effective Date: 4/5/2022
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