University Police
Department of Public Safety
4393 University Drive, MS 3D3
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-993-2810; Fax: 703-993-2865
I. Scope
This Policy will properly define the security procedures of the University CCTV systems use
by outside agencies.
II. Policy Statement
The George Mason University’s CCTV system has been evaluated and classified as a highly
sensitive information system. This policy requires the system owner to develop, document,
implement, and enforce access security procedures and practices commensurate with the
sensitivity classification of the system and its data. This policy specifically covers the
monitoring procedures of the GMU CCTV system by agencies other than the GMU Police
Department. (See ITRM Sec. 4.2.1, pg.17, 4.7.2, pg. 23)
The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of closed circuit television (CCTV)
cameras to observe and record areas for the purpose of safety and security. The existence
of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
A. George Mason University is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus
community by integrating the best practices of public and private policing with state-ofthe-art technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan using this
technology is closed circuit television (CCTV).
B. The purpose of CCTV surveillance of public areas is to deter crime and to assist the
DPS in protecting the safety and property of the campus community. Any diversion of
security technologies and personnel for other purposes (e.g., surveillance of political or
religious activities, or employee and/or student evaluations) would undermine the
acceptability of these resources for critical safety goals and is therefore prohibited by this
C. Video surveillance for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical
and legal manner. Personnel involved in video surveillance will be appropriately trained
and supervised in the responsible use of this technology. Violations of the Code of
Procedures for video surveillance referenced in this policy may result in disciplinary
action consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees of this university.
D. Information obtained through the video surveillance will only be released when
authorized by the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief, the DPS director or his/her designee
according to the procedures established in this policy.
E. Video surveillance of public areas for security purposes will be conducted in a manner
consistent with all existing campus policies, including the Non-Discrimination policy and
Sexual Harassment policy. The code of procedures for video surveillance prohibits
surveillance based on the characteristics and classifications contained in the NonDiscrimination policy (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability,
F. Video surveillance of public areas for security purposes at the campus is limited to
uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law.
A. The George Mason Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the department authorized to
oversee and coordinate the use of the CCTV surveillance for safety and security purposes
at the campus.
B. The Physical Security Director has the responsibility to authorize all CCTV
surveillance for safety and security purposes on campus. All new installations will follow
this policy. The Chief of Police or his/her designee will be notified of and approve all
camera locations and focus areas.
C. The George Mason DPS will monitor new developments in the relevant law and in
security industry practices to ensure that CCTV systems at the campus stays consistent
with the highest standards, protections, and compliant with all Federal, State, and local
D. The DPS officers will accept input and recommendations on camera locations, and
also review camera locations to ensure the perimeter of view conforms to this policy.
The proposed location of cameras will be reviewed by the DPS director or designee for
approval prior to installation. The locations of temporary cameras to be used for special
events will also be reviewed by the DPS Director. (Note: “Temporary” does not include
mobile video equipment or hidden cameras used for criminal investigations).
Included with the list of CCTV camera locations will be a general description of the
technology employed and the capabilities of the cameras.
The George Mason DPS will review complaints regarding camera locations and
determine whether this CCTV policy is being followed. The DPS Director will determine
whether the potential increment in community security outweighs any likely infringement
of individual privacy. Any appeal of a decision by the DPS Director may be reviewed by
the Chief of Police.
E. The Public Safety Director will review all outside agency requests received to release
recordings obtained through CCTV cameras. No releases of CCTV recordings will occur
without authorization by the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief or the DPS Director or
his/her designee. All requests will be filled out on the CCTV request form and sent to the
Director of Public Safety for review. (Available on line At Police website)
F. The Chief of Police or his/her designee may audit any CCTV operations, including
recorded footage, at any time.
A. All individuals who would like to view certain cameras on the GMU CCTV system
must send a written request to the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee. In this
request, there must be a compelling reason for the access to view these cameras.
All requests will be reviewed and the Chief of Police or designee will make the final
B. All individuals given access to University CCTV cameras involved in video
surveillance of public areas will view the cameras in accordance with this policy.
C. The George Mason DPS will limit camera positions and views of residential housing.
Any view of housing will be no greater than what is available with unaided vision.
Furthermore the view of a residential housing facility must not violate the standard of
“reasonable expectation of privacy.”
D. All individuals given access to CCTV cameras are prohibited from tampering with or
duplicating recorded information without the expressed consent of the DPS Director.
E. Recorded video may be stored for a period not to exceed 60 days and will then be
overwritten, unless retained as a part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings
(criminal or civil), or other bona fide use as approved by the DPS Director or his/her
F. The CCTV computer hard drive will be secured and only accessed by authorized
personnel only.
G. All individuals given access to CCTV cameras will be trained in the technical, legal
and ethical parameters of appropriate camera use, will receive a copy of this policy, and
will sign a CCTV/Access Sensitive information non-disclosure agreement. The access
rights will be reviewed on an annual basis by Public Safety.
H. All individuals given access to CCTV cameras will not monitor individuals based on
characteristics or race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or any other
classifications protected by the campus Non-Discrimination policy.
I. All individuals will NOT view private rooms or areas through windows.
J. The GMU Police Department reserves the right to terminate the viewing access at any