Many dorms on the University of Maryland's campus now feature security cameras on their entrances and exits, said Residential Facilities Director Jon Dooley.
Cameras are not yet installed in North Hill halls but are slated to be put in by February 2017, Dooley said. Plans are not yet in place to install cameras in the South Campus Commons apartments, because they're part of a partnership between this university and a private company.
The Leonardtown apartments are also excluded from the current plan, because they do not feature main lobbies, Dooley said.
This university's Residence Hall Association voted unanimously to endorse the security cameras for dorms on the campus last December, The Diamondback reported in December 2015. Residential Facilities began installing the cameras in January, Dooley said.
RHA's Residential Facilities Advisory Board Committee Chair Ivey Tucker said a major reason for installing the cameras was tailgating, where non-residents of a dorm walk in behind someone who lives there.
"Residents' Assistants will tell you not to let people tailgate in after you, because that can lead to more thefts," said Tucker, a junior environmental science and policy major. "So we just want to make sure that we are keeping track of that."
Tucker said the goal of the program was to not only decrease theft, but also to ease the investigation process.
"We were hoping that the addition of security cameras would deter people from stealing, and if there are thefts, there are security cameras that police can look over," Tucker said.
University of Maryland Police spokeswoman Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas said the cameras have been used to investigate at least two cases on the campus. The cameras are used to assist with review of incidents occurring inside and outside of buildings.
RHA President Steve Chen said he thinks the cameras help make dorms feel safer.
"Both UMPD and the Department of Resident Life want to ensure that students know they're in a safe environment," said Chen, a senior biology and global health major.
Dooley said the funds to support the installation of the cameras would come from the operational funds of Residential Facilities.