By Shelby Horton
Hutchinson Community College head of security, Steven Dunmire, will be adding a new piece of equipment to his usual attire.
HCC has recently purchased a Watchguard Vista body cam for Dunmire to wear while patrolling the campus.
“The college has been planning on this purchase for over a year,” Dunmire said. “I felt that it would be really handy to have.”
The compact video camera, costing $800, will not be put into action until HCC creates a policy regulating the videoing of people for evidence.
The device was examined by the IT team at HCC.
“We just wanted to make sure the software being used was compatible with our system,” said Misty Smiley, computer operations specialist at HCC.
“We also had to make sure Steven’s laptop and desktop had enough memory and power to run the software.”
The college waited until Hutchinson police bought their cameras. This model is compatible with the police system so it can provide video for prosecutions, if necessary.
The little video camera can be clipped to Dunmire’s shirt or to a lanyard, fully visible to staff and students.
It can store three hours of video. Dunmire will mainly use it for interviews and when approaching hostile situations.
He believes the camera will come in handy for many occasions, such as when a student is reported to have illegal drugs in their room.
The camera can document what occurs in the room, who was in the room, and could be used as evidence if Dunmire or dorm personnel are accused of taking anything from the room.
Also, in a hostile situation, when there is a large group of people, having a camera to record the event while assessing it can help security personnel document events more accurately.
It becomes a self-defense tool in a potentially violent confrontation, he said.
“Once a camera is involved, people will scatter from a situation instantly,” Dunmire said.
Before the college bought the body cam, Dunmire was using his cellphone to make videos of situations he encounters.
Some HCC students agree that the body cam will be a beneficial tool for everyone.
“It’s necessary because if you need evidence, the camera will catch everything you need,” said Asilynn Barnes, Wichita.
The video camera will be able to be plugged into a docking station beside Dunmire’s computer.
Once plugged in, it will download its video into the computer harddrive.