EAST LANSING, Mich. ( WLNS) – Leaders at Michigan State University said a new upgrade will campus safer while making it easier for police to respond in case of an emergency. University officials announced this week that a new operations center would track the school’s more than 2,000 existing cameras, alarms and call boxes from the MSU police department.

“Additional security isn’t going to hurt anyone. Like some people might be concerned about privacy but I think security is a little more important than privacy,” said freshman Naina Cheeti.

Cheeti is one of the more than 11,000 new students filling Michigan State University this year. While she’s new to the campus, she said she feels safe and likes the idea of a new security project.

Spokesperson Dan Olson said the project has been in the works since early last year and is a step to modernize a scattered system of cameras and monitors.

“Like what we currently have is these systems in various units across campus. So, it gives us now a holistic look at the safety and security of our campus,” said Olson.

Olson said the center is under construction now but will be operational near the end of the year.
He said it will make it easier to monitor equipment and keep a watchful eye for risks, from doors being left open to more serious cases like burglaries.

“That’s some of the safety and security measures we want to address imminently. Our alarm notification will go off. That will allow us to bring up the camera that is associated with that area and promptly address that security concern,” said Olson.

Several campus security upgrades come a year after the disappearance and death of Grand Valley State University student, Brenden Santo. During the search, it was found that a camera in Yakely Hall, where he was last seen, was not working the night he disappeared.

Third-year student Kyla Hotton said she likes the idea but is cautiously optimistic about the impact.

“I guess we’ll wait and see. Optimistic that it will get better, not ready to put my full faith in it yet,” she said.

Olson said the operations center plan comes after major improvements have been made to campus lighting earlier this year and said more systems could be added to the center once it’s running.