Theft has been the highest crime issue at BYU-Hawaii, but the problem has been reducing for the past three years, according to Anthony Pickard, manager of the Department of Public Safety. With the aid of the Information Technology Department, the two offices have installed over 300 surveillance cameras since August 2014.
Pickard, who was a special agent for the FBI for 28 years, said, “When someone comes in to report they have lost something, it helps us to go back and review our cameras to find out what happened. The incident is on the camera, so we have 95 percent success in solving the cases.”
“Our cameras are the most effective tools in solving the incidents or crimes.” – Anthony Pickard
He shared a case where a student lost his bike in front of the GCB. Security looked at the tapes for a nearby camera and identified the student who moved the bike, who he said “admitted to it.”
“Then the student who was involved would tell his friends the Department of Public Safety is helping. That also helps us to reduce crimes too as students now know we have cameras. It is really important for people to report crimes, either by phone or email.”
Sergeant Iona Charles Teriipaia, a supervisor of the Department of Public Safety, shared how it’s common for students to forget they let their friends borrow their bikes. “If we had 10 stealing cases, there would have been two to three cases like that.”
Cynthia Wall, a senior from Minnesota majoring in music, said, “I think it’s good to hear there is a reduction of theft on campus, but I also have a concern in the large amounts of cameras around the campus. It is something about privacy.”
Pickard explained how the cameras help monitor public spaces or ongoing campus activities in order to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors at BYUH and their properties. “Our cameras are the most effective tools in solving the incidents or crimes.”
He explained how “the cameras are in public areas but not in any private areas. We make sure we are not violating people’s privacy.”
To reduce crime rate, the department has trained officers to recognize safety issues and suspicious activities in order to “solve the visibility of these crimes,” said Pickard. “We have officers who do foot patrols, bike patrols, and car patrols.”
Having worked for the FBI helps Pickard come up with solutions that “might not be taken by other campuses,” he said. “They would just call the police department and take a report.”
Part of reducing theft is education students on what theft is, he added. An example of theft is “when you borrow someone’s property without their permission.”
“We want to educate our students more on the crime prevention side, like to make right choices.
“Even though we are not perfect and do make mistakes, we try to present ourselves as professional and approachable. We have smart uniforms and vehicles to make sure people can see us.”