19 March 2019
A little over a month ago, I walked out of class and back to the Gateway Garage, so I could drop off some things before I went into work for the day. When I got back to my car I found my rear window completely shattered.
There wasn’t any other damage on my car. Not a dent. Not a scratch. Not a fingerprint. Not an object lying around it.
This lack of evidence mystified not only myself, but the responding Campus Service Officer and Police Sergeant on my case.
We scoured the area surrounding my car for a good hour only to continuously come up short; only to come up with the far-fetched conclusions that some “foreign object” must’ve hit my car and been removed from the crime scene or that someone must’ve come up and purposely cracked my back window.
When I asked if we could review the footage from the cameras in the garage, I was shocked to find out that we couldn’t. Not because they were out of order or damaged by the perpetrator that demolished my window in order to destroy the evidence, but because there simply aren’t any security cameras in Gateway Garage.
This meant that no matter how much I wanted to, there was no way to figure out what happened. I could only file a report, hope that someone would come forward and be happy that the damage was covered by comprehensive care on my insurance plan.
That day, I also found out that Alpine Garage is the only parking location on campus that has security cameras and that crimes (hit-and-runs, accidents, theft, etc.) are far less likely to occur there than in other areas.
This surprising news instantly made me question why there weren’t cameras installed campus-wide since they seemed to be doing their job. It also made me realize that security cameras on campus are few and far between and that my case, unfortunately, isn’t a rare one.
Most of the students I talked to have had their cars damaged or their items stolen at some point or another on campus and have been unable to figure out what happened due to the lack of evidence.
Over summer UCCS should install more security cameras in public areas, like hallways, entrances and exits to buildings, classrooms, common areas and parking lots, in order to prevent and decrease on-campus misdemeanors.
I understand that the thought of constantly being watched might not be a comforting prospect to some individuals, but I would rather have all of my actions recorded than face another crime I can’t solve.
Both of the high schools I attended had almost every inch of their campuses covered and continuously observed by security cameras and experienced far less small-scale crime than I have heard UCCS has.
ABC News also reports that security cameras have helped prevent crimes and catch criminals in New York City and a news station in Idaho, KTVB 7, reports that “Generally, burglars agreed security cameras were a deterrent.”
If UCCS does not currently have the budget to install security cameras campus-wide, they could begin with the areas that report the highest crime rates and expand from there.
They also could potentially add a security fee of a couple of dollars to student tuition in order to ensure that the school keep safety measures up-to-date now and in the future.
For right now, I have been coming to campus excessively early to avoid having to park in the Gateway Garage and suggest that others should do the same.