Louisiana State University (LSU) officials have denied a student’s claim that a detective told her that the school security cameras were faulty, thereby inhibiting the investigation into her stalker.
Our sister site Campus Safety summarizes the Baton Rouge school’s student newspaper, The Reveille:
LSU student Sidney Slater filed a restraining order against another student she met in the fall of 2019 through the school’s Student Abroad Scholarship program. Her stalker’s advances became aggressive, including dozens of threatening text messages.
Even after a restraining order was filed, the concerning behavior continued, including calls every 12 hours for several days. Slater’s roommate also claims she saw the stalker outside their apartment complex.
The roommate filed a police report with the LSU Police Department, but security footage showed no evidence the stalker was ever there.
In a meeting with LSUPD Detective Sarah Drake, Slater claims Drake said campus security cameras act as a deterrent rather than a surveillance device since no one wants to allocate funding for maintenance.
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The detective also reportedly said the school security camera outside the student’s apartment captured poor quality imagery, especially at night.
LSUPD Chief Bart Thompson said those claims are false. However, he did say storage space is an issue, with five computer servers storing footage from 14,000 cameras across campus.
Cameras save their videos for different periods of time, depending on where the cameras are located and what they are capturing, according to The Reveille.
“There’s no funding available to replace every camera,” he added. “But as cameras slowly lose their technology, we’ll replace them.”
LSUPD is currently working to replace older security cameras that need maintenance or improved technology. Thompson said the department is headed toward video surveillance technology that allows one camera to capture four viewpoints at one time.
According to Thompson, by the end of the semester, LSUPD is aiming to move from a reactive model to a proactive model by having officers assigned to monitor the cameras and communicate information to responding officers.