Saddleback considering cameras for additional security

Katie Mastro

Saddleback College security cameras are under speculation and may be a new addition to campus, posing questions of how safe the campus is.

Two different types of security cameras could be installed. One will be viewed in a computer room while an event is occurring , and the other one that will tape an event so it can be later used as evidence in trial.

“I don’t even know if we’re going to get them,” said Saddleback chief of police, Harry Parmer. “They’re looking at the application; they are assessing the need for security cameras.”

Cameras might be placed where acts of theft have become an issue, including the library computer lab, where computer-related accessories have been stolen, as well as the Admissions and Records offices, where people may become angry and acts of violence could occur.

“Cameras won’t necessarily prevent the violent acts from occurring, not even the one that can be viewed while it is happening,” Parmer said. “[They] aren’t the answer to everything. We want to intervene before we see something on the camera; if we see something suspicious on it, then it’s too late.”

In 1986 a woman by the name of Robbin Brandley was murdered in parking lot 12 around 11 p.m. by Andrew Urdiales, a serial killer.

“She was stabbed 41 times,” Parmer said. “He was a sexually motivated killer, but he was not affiliated with the college in any way. She was not targeted by him. She was just virtually at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Campus police patrol Saddleback 24 hours a day, seven days a week protecting the people and preventing crime. Even after five minutes of Brandley’s death, a patrol officer found her in a pool of blood.

Security cameras, while alleviating some tensions, can spark some new ones as well. To some, privacy may be an issue.

“Some might think it is an invasion of privacy,” said Tom Caldwell, 18, biology. “But it is a public institution so they can put them up if they want to,.

Although there hasn’t been a murder on campus since 1986, some students are still scared of being attacked at night.

“When I walk alone [at night], I always look around my shoulder and behind corners, but it doesn’t seem unsafe,” Caldwell said. “What the school administration really has to ask themselves is if it is drastically dangerous now without security cameras and if they should really pour money into a useless addition.”