Surveillance on campus

Natalie Logan

By Spencer Goldbach
Illustration by Spencer Goldbach

In a 2012 UPD departmental correspondence, an unnamed now-former employee said she and Lt. Mike Gwynes watched surveillance monitors and made derogatory comments about students based on their clothing.

In the report, Gwynes said he did not remember the instance described.

Lt. Matthew Taylor, Manager of Police Communications, said he did not remember any instances where UPD employees watched the monitors and commented on students’ apparel.

He said the wall of monitors was disconnected a few months ago to upgrade to a new internet-based camera system.

In the new system, the cameras are owned by ITS but all requests for footage go through UPD, Taylor said.

According to UNF ITS policy, “University authorized security cameras are not generally utilized for active surveillance purposes, but instead for passive recording purposes to monitor high risk areas, restricted access areas/locations, special events, and specific investigations upon authorization from the President, Chief of Police, or designee(s)”.

Taylor said Police Communications Operators (PCOs) can pull up live feed from the cameras on their computer screens at any time, but all requests for past footage must be sent to him first.

PCOs usually watch the live feed when there is a big event on campus, when the button on a Code Blue Phone is pressed or to monitor the outside of the UPD building.

He said he usually gets requests for footage two or three times a month and all of the cameras are in plain sight.

Gwynes declined to comment.

The unnamed employee has moved out of the country and was unreachable.

E-mail Natalie Logan at [email protected]