TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Northwestern Michigan College is nearly doubling the number of its on-campus security cameras amid reports of increased crime on college campuses nationwide.

The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously on June 12 to award a nearly $500,000 contract to Siemens Industry for the installation of 180 security cameras and automated door locks, the Record-Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/2rp7dw4 ).

“It’s long overdue and it’s nice to have some extra eyes around campus,” said Jim White, the college’s director of security.

College President Tim Nelson said the new security measures are all geared toward keeping students safe, although school officials say the university hasn’t tracked a rise in on-campus crime.

“We’ve been adding (cameras) ever since I came here,” he said. “It’s a different world and the ability to lock down buildings from a remote site should be there … It just makes sense.”

School official Vicki Cook said the improvements are just a “proactive” measure because the college hasn’t tracked a rise in on-campus crime.

The most recent campus safety report indicated that a rape and assault were reported on the campus in 2014 and a burglary in 2015. No other crimes were listed in the report. Data from the past two years wasn’t included.

White said that while Traverse City remains relatively safe, he’d rather be safe than sorry.

“Every time you turn on the TV at night, it’s scary what’s out there,” he said, adding that the current camera systems tend to lose resolution clarity at night. “I’d rather have too much security than too little.”

The work is expected to be completed this summer for just under $470,000.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com