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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Gelman’s upper-level floors may get cameras

The University is considering installing security cameras to combat continued theft on the upper floors of Gelman Library.

The University Police Department has frequently cited Gelman as among the top locations that see theft, specifically of laptops and smartphones.

“We are working with Gelman to develop and institute a comprehensive plan to include options appropriate for maintaining the safety and security of Gelman, while maintaining an open and accessible environment,” Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell said.

From Sept. 1 to Nov. 15, the number of thefts the library has dropped to 12 cases from 17 during the same time last year.

Darnell said at the Safety and Security Forum Nov. 10 that the University is reviewing its surveillance camera program and conducted an assessment at Gelman, particularly on high-level floors. The completed camera report will be sent to Provost Steven Lerman’s office, he said at the time.

No decisions have been made regarding placing additional cameras or altering other security measures at the library, he said, declining to provide potential costs for the equipment.

“We continue to see a trend, where students leave expensive electronics unattended in public areas. When they return, their property is gone,” Darnell said. “These are preventable crimes.”

University Police Department Chief Kevin Hay said at the forum that he does not understand why students leave expensive laptops unattended at Gelman, as they would never walk away leaving the cash value of the computer lying on a table.

“The problem is quite often when students leave an $1,800 MacBook on the table and leave for an hour, and then come back and find it gone,” Hay said. “Those are the types of situations when you really need to pick it up and take it with you, and that’ll help us out a great deal.”

Last December, UPD set up a sting operation and caught three suspects who were allegedly involved in a laptop theft ring targeting the library.

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