Caught on Camera: Best Practices for CCTV Systems (FBI)

Posted by on August 5, 2010

The first and best line of defense in school safety is a well-trained, highly-alert staff and student body.  Any security technology must be viewed as a supplement to, but not a substitute for, a more comprehensive approach to school safety.

Having security technology is one thing.  Having effective security technology, and using it effectively, is another.

The FBI’s Operational Technology Division put together a 20-minute instructional video entitled, “Caught on Camera: Best Practices for CCTV Systems.”  The video can be accessed via the FBI’s web page and is also embedded below.


The video was created to show business owners how cameras can aid law enforcement investigations.  Various points are raised about how CCTV systems can be installed and maintained for maximum effect.

Not everyone in a school, or in school security, will be a technical security whiz-kid.  This video might help some as it highlights a few key points about security cameras. The more important point is that there is a difference between having security technology and having security technology which meets particular needs and is effective in its daily use.

Too often today we situations where cameras are present but may not necessarily be effectively used.  We also see a society suffering from “the CSI effect” where they believe that because cameras are present in a school or other facility, every single movement will be detected and every single crime should be prevented since the cameras exist.  Most experienced security professionals will tell you the latter is not the case in most situations, nor is it a realistic expectation.

Ken Trump

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