Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Video Surveillance Policy

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Video Surveillance Policy

Effective: May 23, 2013

Supercedes: August 1, 2010

Suggested Review: 3 Years

  1. Purpose:
    1. The Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library (the Library) uses video surveillance cameras in order to deter theft, facilitate in identifying person(s) who behave in a disruptive manner, cause damage to library property and are otherwise in violation of the Code of Conduct.
    2. The Library also uses video surveillance in selected areas to monitor cash handling activities.
  2. Policy:
    1. Public Records Compliance
      1. It has been determined that library video surveillance recordings are considered public records.
      2. The Library shall be in compliance with Florida Statutes, Chapter 119 and Hillsborough County Administrative Directive #CO-02, Public Records Access and Release of Public Information, incorporated herein.
      3. The public will be notified, using clearly worded signs displayed at all entrances, so that visitors have reasonable and adequate warning that video surveillance is or may be in operation.
      4. With the exception of Requests from law enforcement agencies, the Hillsborough County Attorney’s office will determine if the public records request is to be granted or denied.
      5. All public records requests (Requests) for video surveillance recordings must be handled in a reasonably timely fashion in accordance with 2. A (2) above.
    2. Uses of Video Surveillance Recordings
      1. Recordings shall be used to assist in identifying person(s) responsible for policy violations, criminal activity or actions considered disruptive to Library operations.
      2. Recordings may be used to assist law enforcement agencies in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
      3. Recordings of incidents can be retained and reviewed as considered necessary by library administration.
      4. Select non-public areas have video surveillance to monitor activities of staff handling cash collections.
    3. Custody and Retention of Video Surveillance Recordings
      1. Each library location equipped with video surveillance shall store recordings on a hard drive located in a secure area and must be secured by password.
      2. Recordings shall be retained for a period of 30 days.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Requests shall be referred to the Supervisor or in-charge staff (Staff).
      1. Staff shall verbally acknowledge the Request and explain that the County Attorney’s office will make the determination whether to grant the Request or not.
      2. Staff shall determine the time of the incident and the reason for the Request, i.e. theft of personal property, alleged criminal activity, violations of the Code of Conduct, etc.
      3. Staff then views the recordings to determine if the applicable footage exists. If it does then the footage shall be recorded onto a library-supplied DVD. The DVD is secured in a manila envelope with the Requestor’s contact information including telephone and e-mail address. The envelope shall be placed in the safe.
    2. Requests shall be referred to the County’s Attorney’s Office excepting those that come from law enforcement.
      1. Staff shall phone the Hillsborough County InfoLine (HCI) and verbally make the Request.
      2. HCI staff will enter the Request information into the Citizen Request Management (CRM) system directed to the County Attorney’s Office and to Library Services.
      3. County Attorney’s Office makes the determination whether to grant the Request or not and enters that information into the CRM.
    3. Notification to the Requestor is done by library staff.
      1. When the notification is received via the CRM, library administration calls the Supervisor or in-charge staff that took the request to inform them of the decision.
      2. The Supervisor or in-charge staff retrieve the DVD and contact the Requestor to inform them of the decision. If the Request was approved the Supervisor or in-charge will make arrangements to provide the DVD or to e-mail the footage. If the Request was not approved the recorded footage shall be deleted.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Public Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.