St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Security Cameras Link☍

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Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 10/28/2019

Last Updated: 06/10/2022

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors, Contractors, Vendors

Responsible University Officer: Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management

Policy Owner: Director of Public Safety

Policy Contact: Director of Public Safety


The University is committed to implementing and maintaining a comprehensive security plan that incorporates the use of video technology. Security cameras may deter crime, assist in the protection of persons and property, and help in the collection of evidence.  They may also be beneficial for management and operation of the University.


This policy applies to use of cameras for St. Cloud State University (SCSU) security operations, including construction. While the following video uses are permitted, this policy does not pertain to video cameras:

  • used for instructional purposes, including research with human subjects or animal subjects.
  • used to obtain footage of public spaces, such as for university marketing, athletic events, employee training, or general non-security related observations.
  • used for temporary investigative work by outside law enforcement agencies.

Video Cameras for Safety and Security

It is the responsibility of administrators, department heads, and SCSU Public Safety, to make recommendations about the level of security required on campus. Decisions to install cameras as a component of a comprehensive safety and security plan may be reached through consultation and deliberation with various campus, system and state departments, outside vendors or contractors or law enforcement officials as needed.

Video cameras may be used on campus to enhance and assist in safety and security.  These may include, but are not limited to:

  • placement of cameras to deter and/or detect prohibited conduct or criminal activity,
  • surveillance of controlled access points or alarms,
  • tracking of activities with or around valuable, hazardous, and/or sensitive information or materials, and
  • investigation into reported or suspected incidents.

St. Cloud State University allows employees with a legitimate work purpose and others as allowable by law to view and/or record video images. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time, continuously or otherwise, except as circumstances and resources permit.

Video Camera Footage

Recordings from security video cameras may be retained for a period not to exceed 30 days and will be held in a secure location with access by authorized personnel only. After 30 days, they will be erased, unless retained as part of any known investigation or court proceeding (criminal or civil), or other bona fide purpose as approved by the Director of Public Safety or the Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management, or the Special Advisor to the President.

Body Cameras

The Public Safety Department will pilot a body camera (also known as body-worn camera, bodycam, or wearable camera) program, in order to enhance safety and security, as well as to enhance accountability for Public Safety personnel and members of the public/campus community who come into contact with Public Safety.  The Public Safety Department will also pilot a program in which video cameras are mounted in the windshields of Public Safety patrol vehicles.   

Public Safety will use body cameras & patrol vehicle cameras to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To enhance officer safety by providing opportunities to review incidents and adapt protocols/procedures.
  2. To enhance the ability to document and review statements, events, and other information or actions.
  3. To preserve visual and audio information for use in current and future investigations.
  4. To assist with officer training and performance or field evaluations conducted by supervisors.
  5. To enhance public trust by providing recorded visual and audio information for processing inquiries or complaints and to preserve such information according to this policy and procedure.
  6. To ensure accountability on the part of both officers and people they encounter, by allowing for both parties to know they are being recorded.

Body Camera & Patrol Vehicle Camera Footage Retention

Body camera and patrol vehicle camera footage will be retained for a minimum of 60 days. The Director of Public Safety, Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management, Vice President of Finance and Administration, President or designee, may order the footage to be retained for a period longer than 60 days. Footage will also be retained if such footage is part of any known investigation or court proceeding (criminal or civil), or is the subject of a complaint against Public Safety personnel.  If the footage is part of an inquiry that is determined not to lead to an investigation or further action, then the footage will be retained for 60 days after the date of determination that no additional investigation or further action is needed.  Footage retained for investigation or court proceedings will be retained with other investigation or court documentation according to St. Cloud State University’s established retention schedules.  All footage retained for further investigation or inquiry—or transferred to another department/agency/office for further investigation or inquiry will be noted on a log maintained by the Director of Public Safety or designee.   

Public safety will annually evaluate and report on how these objectives were achieved by June 30th.

Security Camera/Body Camera/Patrol Vehicle Camera Video Monitoring, Inspection, Export and Release

Monitoring, inspection, export, and/or release of electronic video security, patrol vehicle camera, and body camera recorded footage at St. Cloud State University will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner. Personnel involved in these activities will be appropriately trained and supervised in privacy practices and the responsible use of security technology. Procedure violations may result in disciplinary action consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees of the University. The following also apply to monitoring, inspection, export, and release:

  • Monitoring and inspection will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing SCSU and Minnesota State System policies, including, but not limited to policies about non-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Monitoring and inspection shall be performed in a manner that does not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy.
    • The SCSU Public Safety Department will limit camera positions and views of residential housing accordingly. Students have a greater expectation of privacy in their personal residential rooms/apartments and in the hallways and lounges of residential facilities. Therefore, monitoring for safety and security purposes will not be used in residential hallways and lounges unless a specific safety/security risk exists that requires such action.
  • Security system user accounts will be configured to prevent camera operators from tampering with or duplicating recorded information. Public Safety personnel who export video footage must do so in the presence of a supervisor to maintain the integrity of the recording.
  • Information obtained through monitoring or inspection will only be released when approved by the Director of Public Safety, the Assistant Vice President of Safety & Risk Management, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, or the Special Advisor to the President according to procedures established in this policy.


The SCSU Public Safety Department, in consultation with the Vice President of Finance and Administration and the CIO; is authorized to oversee the purchase, use, set up, installation, maintenance, administration, and removal of electronic video security systems. Attempts to use, set up, install, administer, or remove electronic video security systems without direction from Public Safety or in a manner inconsistent with this policy and procedure is prohibited. All University areas using security cameras or any of the integrated systems are responsible for collaborating with Public Safety in implementing this policy and associated procedures in their respective departments.

Public Safety officers who have been issued body cameras will be trained and given guidance on use of cameras and privacy considerations. Officers shall operate and use body cameras and patrol vehicle cameras consistent with this policy and departmental training or guidance documents. Officers shall conduct a function test of their issued body cameras at the beginning of each shift to ensure the devices are operating properly. Officers shall check patrol vehicle cameras at the beginning of each shift to ensure that they are operating correctly, if they are operating a vehicle equipped with such cameras. Malfunction of equipment shall be documented in writing, reported to a supervisor, and dealt with promptly.


Requests for long-term security video monitoring, or for the installation or removal of a camera must be made in writing or by email to the Access Control Manager in the Public Safety Department.  They will be considered in light of the objectives of this policy and if feasible and appropriate will be integrated into the operational plan for Public Safety.

Requests for temporary camera installation for investigations, for enhanced security at special events, or as needed to protect the safety and security of the University must be made to the Director of Public Safety or the Access Control Manager.  These personnel will consult with their supervisor and, at times with Cabinet members who have responsibility over the operations of interest. 

Requests for security video, patrol vehicle camera or body camera footage as part of a data request or court ordered legal process must be directed to the Special Advisor to the President.

Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes


Responsible University Officer
   South, Steve
   Interim Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management
   Schnettler, David J.
   Director of Public Safety
   Schnettler, David J.
   Director of Public Safety

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