Video Monitoring Ensures Security of Dormitories

by Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm, 51FWPA
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- This is the fifth in a series of articles focusing on the 12 key tasks at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The way Team Osan focuses on the 51st Fighter Wing's command priorities and guards the freedom of 51 million people will be explored this week through the ninth key task, Dormitories. Concluding the series will be a wrap-up article with a video showing the comprehensive spectrum of how Team Osan works on the key tasks.

In 2014, the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron/Civil Engineer Installation management team of Osan AB began a project to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its dorm residents through the installation of Closed Circuit security cameras. As of June 10, 2015, 35 out of 39 dormitories have had between 35-40 cameras installed in both hallways and stairwells, totaling 1,500 security cameras base wide.

Prior to their installation, Airman Dorm Leaders had their hands full dealing with petty vandalism, and the after effects of drunken shenanigans. With only seven ADLs for over 3,000 Airmen the odds of finding the ones responsible and holding them accountable were not favorable.

Tech. Sgts. Daniel Weisz, ADL Zone manager, and William Spraggins, ADL, mentioned incidents of finding portions of wall paper torn off and questionable pictures and phrases scribbled on the walls with no way of proving who did what.

Since coming online the mere presence of the cameras have been enough to prevent most misbehavior. With capabilities such as motion activation, low light capture, zoom, 1080 resolution and the ability to record up to a terabyte or roughly two weeks of data the ADLs now have a powerful tool.

"We've done a lot with the videos already..." stated Weisz before explaining that the footage is primarily reviewed in the aftermath of an incident, the cameras being in place to act as more of a deterrence than anything else. "The Airmen know there are cameras in the hallways. If something happens we can follow the person back to their room with the cameras."

The cameras have assisted Security Forces and the Office of Special Investigations in 10 different official investigations. Commanders and First Sergeants also have the right to request a footage review in the case of suspected incidents involving their personnel.

The ADLs have an unfunded request submitted for more cameras, the security and care of the people and facilities under their authority foremost in their minds.

"We've been pushing really hard to get some cameras in the common areas and outdoors," explains Weisz, "We have issues with smokers, basic vandalism and stuff like that, cause people know there are no cameras there."

In the meantime, the current fleet of CCTVs continue to keep a silent vigil over the dormitories and their occupants, ensuring an atmosphere of safety and comfort for all.

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