Stephen F. Austin State University

Security Systems Policy

Security Systems Policy (14.10)

Stephen F. Austin State University has a commitment to the security and safety of our students, employees and visitors. This Security Systems policy contributes to the fulfillment of that commitment and outlines how security systems are requested and maintained with the goal of standardizing security system components and processes as much as possible.


Access Controls

Access control systems enable the monitoring and control of access to facilities and resources. In the context of physical security these systems record the request for and subsequently allow or deny access to the requested area or resources. These systems may include but are not limited to: access card, numeric code, biometric identification or proximity device for access.

Hold-up and Panic Alarms

These systems are devices that signal the University Police Department (UPD) of an event in which the personal safety of a member of the university community is in jeopardy. No on-site audible or visual signal is present in such applications. Locations where such systems could be installed include but are not limited to locations an armed robbery could be a threat or where staff may be subject to personal jeopardy.

Intrusion Detection Systems

These are systems commonly referred to as "burglar alarms" and generally consist of door contacts, motion detectors, and glass breakage sensors. When these devices are triggered they signal a control panel to activate both an on-site audible alarm as well as register an alarm at the UPD central monitoring station.

Security Camera Systems

These systems are devices designed to transmit video and/or audio signals to a monitoring station or recording device. The use of security cameras is generally for purposes of monitoring property subject to theft and supervising sensitive access points or offices/areas subject to disruptive behavior.

No department is permitted to install covert security cameras with the exception of UPD. These systems must be configured to be continuously monitored or recorded. "Dummy" security cameras are not permitted.

Security Systems

The term "security systems" as used in this policy is defined as any singular system or any combination of the systems defined above.


All security systems must be approved by the Chief of University Police and the appropriate vice president, or president's designee, prior to purchase and installation. Access controls must also be approved in advance by University Affairs Systems Support prior to purchase and installation. Necessary approvals must be provided to Procurement and Property Services prior to orders being placed.

In facility construction and/or renovation planning, all included security systems must be approved by the Chief of University Police prior to approval of final plans. Any included access controls must be approved by the Chief of University Police and University Affairs Systems Support prior to approval of final plans.


Departments desiring to install a new security system should make a request using the "University Security System Installation Request" form. This form requires a detailed proposal, including a description of the site in question and the purpose of the system.

The departmental contact person listed on the request will be contacted by the Chief of University Police, or his/her designee, for a consultation to determine the most effective system to accomplish the requesting department's objectives.

Within ten (10) business days of receiving a security system installation request, the Chief of University Police shall approve, disapprove, or recommend modifications or alternatives to the request.

Upon final approval, the purchasing and installation of the new security system is the responsibility of the department making the request.

Departments faced with a unique situation pertaining to purchase and installation of security systems may request an exception to this section of the policy, in writing, from the Chief of University Police and the appropriate vice president or president's designee.

System Monitoring

Upon installation of a security system, University Police will monitor the system at no cost to the installing department. Stand-alone security systems (those not monitored by UPD) are prohibited.


All security system repairs must be ordered through UPD using the "Security System Repair Request" form. Any single repair expense of $200 or less will be covered by UPD, while the portion of any single repair expense in excess of $200 will be billed to the requesting department.


Security systems are installed for the protection of our students, employees and visitors. Therefore, security systems may not be removed, relocated, or modified without approval of the Chief of University Police, or his/her designee. Removal or modification should be requested using the "Security System Modification/Removal Request" form.


For the purposes of security and potential evidence gathering, it is important that any audio or video recorded from security systems be protected.

Any department that has video and/or audio surveillance equipment installed shall provide the University Police Department with the appropriate authorization to view, download, capture, monitor, and control this equipment. This enables the University Police Department to maintain a chain of custody regarding evidence recovered from the recording device.

While the University Police Department will be responsible for the administration of all security system equipment, departmental directors and/or other authorized employees within each department with video and/or audio surveillance equipment installed will have authorization to view, capture, download and copy for non-security purposes.

The administration of the equipment will include, but is not limited to, focusing, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) controls, software updates, software configuration, download/capture capabilities, and DVR maintenance. Departments may be provided administrative control in coordination with the Chief of Police. An individual that accesses suspected criminal or suspicious activity should contact University Police immediately.

The University Police Department will, on a regular basis, review any and all video and/or audio surveillance equipment to ensure proper recording, viewing capabilities, and determine the need for repair or replacement. When needed, the University Police Department will coordinate with the appropriate repair/replacement company to have the equipment brought back to proper working order.


Security camera recordings should be retained for a period of no less than 14 days. If existing systems do not provide for a storage period of that length, the maximum storage period possible should be utilized.