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Nearly 400 cameras on campus help UK police fight crime


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - On the University of Kentucky's campus signs promote seeing excellence, tomorrow, and of course blue. Although there should be more signs saying they see you.

"Right now, we've got over 400 cameras out and we're expanding almost on a daily basis," stated UK Police Chief Joe Monroe.

"I just never really knew they were there, until you told me about them. It's amazing," reacted one sophomore student.

"I don't think they really tell us those kinds of things at freshman orientation," added a freshman student.

It's not as if these cameras are hidden, they're in plain sight on poles and even the emergency call stations around campus.

"The system will actually be able to have almost 2,000 cameras by the time the project is through," explained the Chief.

It was this network of cameras that caught a recent arson attempt outside Commonwealth Stadium.

"We were able to deploy the new camera system and actually research and look at some of the video footage. (We) actually get a good description of the suspects," said Monroe.

According to police, the footage caught several suspects attempting to light a car on fire via a cardboard box on Wednesday night. Investigators add that the car was not badly damaged. Still it was all seen by a security camera mounted high above the parking lot on the Commonwealth Stadium scoreboard.

"A lot of times you don't have witnesses, so now we're able to use the camera system as our witness and gather this evidence very quickly," Monroe explained.

In the last month, campus police say the system has helped them solve two crimes, and they say it could even evolve into a way to prevent crimes.

"For students and staff that are walking on campus, they can call in to us and we'll be able to follow them on cameras, by the time the project is through."

Also by the time the project is complete, police expect to have a central command center where all of the video feeds can be monitored. While the police already patrol the campus heavily, having eyes everywhere will go a long way.

The three students arrested are said to be Jennings Kleeman, 18, Cullen Gallaher, 18, and Ian Baughman, 19.


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