Security Cameras on Campus

The University of Michigan has created a new Standard Practice Guide (SPG) for the installation, use, and operation of security cameras (SPG 606.01). A security camera is defined as video surveillance technology that records people’s activities in order to detect, deter, prevent criminal behavior or investigate crimes or other threats to public safety.

When successfully deployed, security camera systems enhance overall campus safety and security, deter crime, and otherwise support the protection of people and property. The SPG and the services provided by the Division of Public Safety & Security are to ensure the installation and appropriate uses of security cameras by any U-M unit, including the retention, release, and use of recorded images. This policy applies to cameras installed or activated permanently or on a temporary basis specifically for purposes of enhancing campus safety and security, independent of the specific camera technology or whether they are monitored in real time.

The following are NOT considered security cameras and therefore are outside of the scope of the SPG:

  • Clinical patient care
  • Human subjects research
  • Teaching and learning
  • Video conferencing
  • Human resources
  • U-M Police Department (UMPD) in-car and covert cameras utilized for specific law enforcement purposes where relevant federal and state laws, statutes, and ordinances govern the use of electronic recording by law enforcement agencies.
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If you are going to make the investment, you want to make sure the system is designed properly to give you quality video. DPSS will work with you to ensure your security camera system is properly designed ensuring quality video that will help you achieve the desired level of safety and security.

Questions regarding the SPG or the resources on this site can be sent to

The general process for new installations

The DPSS Infrastructure Protection Unit will received your request and will get back to you shortly to set up a meeting to discuss your security/safety concerns which have prompted your request for a security camera system. After the meeting the assessment process will begin to evaluate the area’s current security level, identify gaps where security is lacking, and recommend improvements or upgrades to existing security measures (which may or may not include the installation of security cameras). The overall goal is to reduce your facility’s and UM’s vulnerability to crime and other risks.

Existing Installations

If your unit has existing installations, please have all camera operators complete the required training steps located on the Operator Training page. Once completed, the Operator Code of Conduct should be filed with DPSS.