Security Camera Policies and Procedures


This policy provides guidelines regarding the use of security camera at Western Michigan University, including both Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and internet-enabled cameras (Web cams). The policy outlines when and how security cameras are to be installed, how images are to be stored and recorded, and the conditions under which stored images or video are to be used.

The following classes of cameras are exempt from this policy:

  • Security cameras installed by authorized financial institutions to monitor bank branch locations and ATM machines.
  • Department of Public Safety's (WMU Police) audio/video recording equipment in the department and patrol vehicles.

Policy statements

The function of surveillance cameras is to assist in protecting the safety and property of the University community. The primary use of surveillance cameras will be to record images for future identification of individuals in the event of legal, criminal, or policy violations. There will be no audio associated with any camera. The University will not install cameras in faculty/staff offices or in non-public areas of residence halls.

  1. Surveillance cameras may be installed in locations where the security of University property or people would be enhanced. This includes all locations that engage in case or credit card transactions.
  2. Appropriate signage will be installed by the physical plant to provide notice of the cameras and enhance the crime prevention value of the camera.
  3. Camera use will be limited to situations that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law.
  4. The chief of police will function as the surveillance camera coordinator.


  • Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner. Monitoring individuals based on characteristics or race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected classification is prohibited.
  • All requests for installing security cameras on Western Michigan University property must be routed to the University police department. The police department will then conduct a security assessment forwarding the results for camera location and other security recommendations to the requesting department.
  • Purchase, installation, and maintenance of camera equipment requires the approval of the appropriate vice president. All security camera equipment must comply with current University standards for the equipment.
  • Once approved, new surveillance cameras must connect to the University's centralized (Lenel) surveillance system.
  •  University police will have access to all surveillance camera data.
  • Recorded images will not be routinely checked and will only be reviewed in the event the University has a need to review the recorded images. Recorded information will be stored in a secure location with access by authorized staff only.
  • Information obtained through video monitoring will be used exclusively for safety, security, compliance with University policy and for law enforcement purposes. Should monitoring reveal activity that violates laws or policy, an investigation will be initiated. All information retained will only be released per WMU's open records policy as authorized by the University's Office of General Counsel.
  • Any person who tampers with or destroys video security equipment will be subject to criminal prosecution and/or campus judicial action.

Document action

Approved: 2009