Home Homepage Latest Stories Guarding the Gates: Tackling Parking Security at Montclair State University

Guarding the Gates: Tackling Parking Security at Montclair State University

by Lorenzo Gonzalez

The opinion pieces expressed in this publication, The Montclarion, are those of the author(s). They do not claim to reflect the opinions or views of The Montclarion, other than Editorials written by The Montclarion Editorial Board staff.

Last summer, I had my truck hit on the side of the door while I was in class. Unfortunately, there were no cameras present at the scene to capture the crime.

That incident prompted me to want to raise awareness of reasons why there should be more surveillance cameras in every parking lot and garage at Montclair State University.

In a modern world where safety precautions are more prevalent than ever, you would think college campuses would want to look into the true problems that directly affect students.

Especially in a school that is known for being heavily involved with commuter life, it is hard to imagine that there is a parking crisis going on before our very eyes.

No, it is not how limited the spaces are around campus and no, it is not the fact there is traffic going on around campus. The biggest problem is there are only a few surveillance cameras set up where we park on campus.

As of currently, cameras are located at entry and exit points of the parking garages and parking lots, as well as stairwells and roofs of the garages. However, there are none that cover the actual floors of the garages or the entire parking lots.

While security cameras are often linked with indoor surveillance, the inclusion of these devices in parking areas is a critically overlooked aspect of campus safety. It is arguably the most important part of what kind of community we want to bring to our campus.

The main question we should ask is how a campus that has a 71% commuter population struggles to ensure the safety and security of student vehicles? Surely, there has to be a solution for this.

Montclair State represents a multitude of populations, with students bustling day and night for classes, activities, work, food, etc. However, with this vibrancy comes the ongoing challenges of maintaining safety and security at all hours of the day.

By installing advanced security cameras throughout parking lots on campus, we could avoid any kind of crime or suspicious acts from getting through our community. By installing these security cameras, we could send a clear message that the safety of our students getting to and from campus is a top priority.

If we influence the use of security cameras at Montclair State, it could act as a powerful obstacle to any form of criminal activity. Potential offenders are less likely to engage in theft, vandalism and other illegal behavior when they realize they are being monitored.

The footage on these cameras could help waste less time for officers to crack down on cases by identifying suspects, reconstructing events and bringing perpetrators to justice.

This is a crucial reason for Montclair State to push for surveillance cameras more than ever since the Annual Security Report section of the website states, “The Montclair State University campus is an open one. There are no protective boundaries that separate it from surrounding communities and highways.”

This should be an alarming fact for everyone at Montclair State and because there are no cameras, the only eyewitnesses to crimes are people who are present at the moment. To save everyone’s time and to prevent putting anyone in harmful situations, the best way to deter any crime is to invest in cameras to crack down on criminals.

Parking lots are very common sites for accidents, such as vehicle collisions, hit-and-runs, pedestrian accidents, physical driver fights and much more. Security cameras can capture this essential footage of these incidents, providing objective documentation of exactly what happened. It serves as a permanent record of an accident, ensuring key evidence is preserved for future reference. This is vital for any cases that are not immediately reported, as the footage can be accessed at a later date to gather crucial information for an event like a court hearing.

Parking lots commonly are equipped with multiple security cameras positioned at every eyewitness viewpoint. This allows for comprehensive coverage for an entire parking lot, ensuring that accidents, events or crimes can be captured with high quality sound and definition from multiple angles. This enhances the reliability and accuracy of a documented accident helping the victim prove their case.

In closing, Montclair State should highly invest in surveillance cameras across the parking lots all over campus.

It can benefit many commuters and become a staple of what the school could be known for as a commuter-dedicated school.

In a magnitude of ways, it could save people from any potential future accidents, crack down on criminals and endorse a school solely dedicated to the safety of those through the community. With advanced technology that could record any time and angle in sight, it is only logical that we implement these cameras in the lots.

Everybody would be able to feel a sense of security knowing that potential crimes would easily be filmed and kept for future evidence.

Let us join together to put an end to accidents and crimes on campus by installing surveillance and keeping our students safe.

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