Atterbury-Muscatatuck Camera's Keep Watch
EDINBURGH, Ind. -Surveillance of public space is a reality in the post- Sept. 11 world as we race toward a society where people are under constant scrutiny. While the implications of this trend, and booming industry, are a matter of debate, the use of surveillance cameras by law enforcement and security professionals are not new developments.
Those that live and work in a secure environment are desensitized to remote scrutiny. In the military, where living in communal barracks dashes most illusions of privacy, security cameras are the new guard patrols in sensitive areas. The small, ubiquitous glass domes of security cameras have permeated the public and not-so-public spaces; busy intersections, businesses, malls and now, Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Center, Ind.
Atterbury-Muscatatuck has been utilizing new security cameras over the past year to increase the installation's capability to monitor and deter security threats and increase public safety, said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Corbin, of Greenwood, Ind., physical security and antiterrorism noncommissioned officer.
"We've had two phases of the cameras coming in and we're getting ready to start a third phase with more cameras being installed," said Corbin
"That accident at the front gate over the summer, we were able to capture that on the cameras. Before the accident site was cleared we burned a copy of the footage and gave it to Johnson County Sheriff's Office, which help expedite their investigation," said Corbin.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Dale, of Columbus, Ind., noncommissioned officer at the Joint Operations Center on Atterbury, said they prefer to keep some of the camera locations undisclosed, that not all emplacements are obvious.
"People are more honest when they think someone is watching," said Dale. "Theft and pilfering is reduced with the use of cameras. Fewer things disappear and Military Police Investigations have fewer cases. The cameras can minimize investigation time greatly, adding more resources to the road because those law enforcement officers aren't tied up for days with an investigation."
Despite the proliferation of cameras they have their limitations, said Dale.
"If we're anticipating something, then we can focus in on it. But, nobody here can predict the future and we can't have a camera on every single point expecting something to happen," said Dale.
The cameras are also useful tools for assessments of traffic flow, said Dale.
"We can check traffic patterns and pedestrian travel when we have more personnel on Atterbury such as the Army North exercise during the summer," he said. "During inclement weather we can check road conditions."
The cameras are also utilized as a quality control measure to ensure systems and processes are working, said Corbin.
"The main gate uses it for monitoring the gate guards for training purposes. They can see where improvements can be made. The cameras at the gate have the capability to transmit high quality images of identification cards to the Joint Operations Center should there be an issue with someone coming through," said Corbin.
According to Maj. Joseph Waskow, of Bloomington, Ind., there are 55 cameras about post, though not all have been installed yet.
"Phase One covered the entry areas and the perimeter," said Waskow. "Now if you see a tower, there is a camera," he said referring to the elevated camera emplacements.
The cameras are part of an overall security posture to ensure the safety of all personnel working at Atterbury, said Waskow.
"Even though we are a smaller installation, we are safer than the larger bases. We have 100 percent identification checks at the gates, the Mobile Lisa identification scanning system also does background checks and now we have cameras. The cameras have definitely been a beneficial addition to Camp Atterbury," he said.
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