The Department of Public Safety’s new initiative to record on video “large-scale and significant” incidents on campus has raised a few eyebrows. Last month, a DPS officer, apparently dressed in plainclothes, became the first to implement the new policy, filming students outside a party in Henle Village.

Vice President for Public Safety David Morrell said the new policy was spurred by a squabble outside of Reiss Science Building in September that required assistance from Metropolitan Police Department officers and left three DPS officers and two students injured. He said that DPS does not plan to use the recordings to identify and prosecute students, but to help train officers in how to respond to security incidents and develop new ways to prevent and deter crime.

It’s great that Morrell is serious about improving security, and he should be applauded for his openness to new ideas. But the best way to achieve better safety on campus is not officer-borne cameras. Since DPS has no plans to use its videos to prosecute those who commit crimes, they likely will do little to deter violent or destructive behavior.

Following the Henle incident last month, Morrell said that DPS is reviewing the recording and will decide whether or not to keep the policy in place. Instead of more officer-borne recordings, DPS should instead push for more fixed surveillance systems in public areas. On Saturday, Feb. 4 in Yates Field House, six wallets were stolen within an hour. These thefts, countless others and the all-too-frequent destruction of property like bicycles taking place around campus are recurring problems, even though all could be addressed by additional on-campus surveillance.

There exists little real deterrent to crime on campus, and by avoiding the use of the videos for prosecutorial purposes the new DPS program is limiting its own potential impact on campus security. Perhaps they should just leave the moviemaking to . GUSA.

Of course, the possibilities for a new GUTV television show entitled “DOPS” are quite promising, as well.

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