Police Department Manual (PDP)

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Effective: 3/1/2002


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PDP 201–06: Governing Electronic Safety and Security Systems

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To regulate the use of electronic safety and security systems on all ASU campuses.

To increase the understanding of their use in protection of people, buildings, and assets (including intellectual property and research) as well as their function in crime prevention, detection, deterrence, identification, arrest, and prosecution of persons engaged in violations of the law or for any other legitimate purpose.

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U.S. Constitution, Amendment 4
Arizona Constitution, Article II, § 8

ASU Police Department

ISAAC & Transaction Services

Risk & Emergency Management

ASU PD Manual, Policy 431–02

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All property under the control of the university where access control, intrusion alarms, panic alarms, silent alarms, robbery alarms, or video security or surveillance is proposed, requested, or used.

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All components of ASU, including the ISAAC & Transaction Services, the ASU Police Department (ASU PD), and Risk & Emergency Management are committed to the enhancement of public safety, the quality of life, the protection of assets, and the maintenance of an environment conducive to quality education, individual privacy, diversity, and freedom of expression.

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Existing Standards

Access control, duress, intrusion, and video security systems are installed using an ASU recognized standard. The ASU Project Guidelines (https://www.asu.edu/fm/documents/project_guidelines/Project-Guidelines.pdf) specifies the requirements for all components that make up systems installed on any ASU owned or occupied facility. Any systems installed prior to January 1, 2002 that are in use and in good working order may continue to operate until the system malfunctions or is due for upgrade or replacement. ASU departments should transition all systems to the ASU standard and approved system to avoid department liability.

New System Installations, Modifications, and Upgrades

Departments planning to install, modify, or upgrade systems beginning January 1, 2002, shall first obtain a Safety and Security System Permit (SSSP) issued by the University. The SSSP shall be approved or denied within 60 days of the permit application. If requested by the entity applying for the permit, a complete security survey and/or vulnerability assessment can be completed by members of ISAAC & Transition Services, ASU PD, and Risk & Emergency Management.

In part, the permit application must include a justification for installation of the system, and must also describe the purpose, type or make, model, and capabilities of each component. In most cases, following the proper procedures by involving CPMG (Capital Programs Management Group) and ISAAC & Transaction Services will be is required.

Inoperative, Placebo, or Dummy Systems

The ASU PD strongly discourages the installation of inoperative, perfunctory, placebo, or “for looks-only” video security systems. The existence of placebo cameras is difficult to keep secret, and public knowledge of placebo camera installations lessens the deterrent effect of all video security systems.

System Termination

Security systems that are not used properly or are not functioning properly by any persons authorized to have access will be removed and/or have the system management transitioned to the ISAAC & Transaction Services and the department will be billed. In the event of repeated equipment failure, false alarms, or failure to comply to correct malfunctioning equipment within 60 days, the University reserves the right to repair or replace the nonfunctioning equipment with equipment under the standardization project guidelines and will bill the department.

All alarm systems (including panic, robbery, intrusion, and property control) should be in good working order or be removed under approval of the SSSP.

No person shall remove any security equipment, regardless of whether it is functioning or not, without permit approval. Equipment that is approved for removal will incur labor charges billed to the department.

Video and Alarm System Operating Responsibilities, Limitations, and Training

Entities operating video security systems, access control, property control, or alarm systems shall be responsible for requiring their operators to obtain training in their effective, legal, constitutional, and ethical use. The ASU PD shall provide this training within 60 days of a submitted request.

All video cameras should be operative and connected to a recording system that retains video images for a minimum of 30 days. The recording equipment shall be located in an approved centrally managed data center operated by qualified technical staff. Assurance that cameras are recording will be the responsibility of the unit. Any camera that is not recording should be reported through a service ticket to ISAAC & Transaction Services.

Operators shall respect the reasonable expectation of privacy in all uses of video security, including forensic video surveillance employed by ASU PD investigators. When ASU PD investigators use video surveillance only authorized ASU PD personnel can view the recording(s). Should entities reviewing the use of their video systems observe suspicious, illegal, or dangerous activities, those entities should immediately contact ASU PD for further investigation.

All uses of video security shall be in compliance with existing ASU policies, including those concerning nondiscrimination, nonharassment, and diversity.

Information and images obtained by video monitoring shall be used exclusively for law enforcement and security purposes. Information may be released for other purposes such as internal employee disciplinary action, CrimeAlert broadcasts to the public, and media releases only when authorized by the ASU PD chief of police, his or her designee, or the Office of General Counsel.

Except when employed as a forensic tool by the ASU PD, video security shall be restricted to public areas and areas commonly used by university community groups. These include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  1. corridors, building perimeters, doorways
  2. alleys, service drives, and streets
  3. athletic fields
  4. audience seating
  5. cash handling facilities
  6. dining facilities
  7. landings and elevators
  8. laboratories
  9. classrooms
  10. library interiors
  11. loading docks
  12. malls, sidewalks, and other pedestrian walkways
  13. parking lots
  14. retail establishments
  15. rooftops
  16. safes


  17. stadiums or arenas and auditoriums

Except when specifically approved in writing by the ASU PD chief of police or his or her designee, or the Office of General Counsel, video security installations shall not be approved in any of the following places:

  1. individual dormitory rooms, without occupant’s permission
  2. public rest room toilet stalls
  3. public rest rooms with urinals
  4. individual offices, without the occupant’s permission
  5. any surrounding community property not officially used by ASU


  6. locker or dressing rooms, where showering or disrobing is routine.

All security and surveillance must comply with applicable state and federal law. Persons conducting illegal surveillance are subject to felony prosecution, as well as university sanction, up to and including termination of employment or expulsion from ASU.

False Alarms

False alarms of any kind that are activated by human error or system malfunction and cause an unnecessary response by police, fire, Emergency Medical Service (EMS), or other emergency services must be prevented. Systems must employ preventative maintenance by a qualified technician and must be monitored to reduce the likelihood of false alarms. The department must repair or replace malfunctioning systems within 60 days or services for repair/replacement will be billed to the department.


Faculty, staff, or students whose work or studies are tied to an area for which the installation of video security has been proposed or presently exists may petition to block or forego the installation or to remove existing video security equipment upon the basis that an enhanced expectation of privacy may exist. Petitions may also be made for the addition of video security, access control, or alarm systems. Petitions will be made first to the dean or director of the college or department. The dean or director, in consultation with the University, will determine the disposition for the petition.


Except in applications of forensic video security being clandestinely conducted by the ASU PD, signs shall be displayed prominently in public areas covered by video security.

Video security warning signs shall be placed at or near each entrance to the places being monitored. Samples of notice language for signs are available through the Facilities Management Sign Shop.

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  1. Installation, maintenance, or use of fire alarm systems and video security systems, access control systems, and intrusion alarm systems that are placed in use for an active investigation by the ASU PD.
  2. Fire alarms, which are under the jurisdiction of ASU PD, Environmental Health & Safety, and state and local fire marshals.
  3. Forensic use of electronic alarm, access control, or video security systems, as dictated by Policy 431–02 of the ASU PD Manual as amended, May 2001.

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Students, faculty, and staff
  1. Be aware of areas posted as being under video security.
  1. Use access control and alarm systems properly. If an alarm is accidentally activated, call the ASU Police at 480/965–3456 immediately. When police officers arrive, keep hands in plain sight, show identification, and explain how the alarm was activated.
If desired:
  1. Petition colleges or departments employing video security to remove cameras, limit their scope, or add systems to a given area.
Deans, department heads, and system operators
  1. Ensure that all employees complete training in their technical, legal, constitutional, and ethical responsibilities, and are given a copy of this policy. This policy will be covered and handed out during the required training.  Training should be requested through the ASU PD.
Upon notification:
  1. Notify facilities for alarms that appear faulty. Document the notification in CAD.
  1. Follow up on complaints of false alarms due to system malfunction or human error, providing remedial training or system improvement recommendations, as needed.
On request from department chairs, college deans, or other responsible persons:
  1. Provide training in access control, property control, intrusion alarm, panic alarm, and video security systems within 60 days of receiving the request.

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