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FBI Video on Best Practices for CCTV Systems: Caught on Camera

Using a fictional transit bus bombing as its story line, the 20-minute instructional video produced by the FBI’s Forensic Audio, Video and Image Analysis Unit shows how closed circuit television (CCTV) systems can be installed and maintained for maximum effect—not only for the business owner but for the needs of law enforcement as well.

Caught on Camera shows how to avoid common problems such as installing cameras in the wrong places, ignoring lighting and line-of-sight issues, and having administrators who don’t understand how the systems operate. “Many business owners think their systems are fine until something happens,” Katrina Gossman, FBI unit chief for the Forensic Audio, Video, and Image Analysis Unit said.

While not specifically created for schools, the information contained in this brief video will provide school administrators and security personnel with practical, helpful tips to ensure that school-based CCTV systems work to the best of their ability. There are many ways for CCTV systems to fail, one of the actors explained. “But when the system works, it can make all the difference.” If you are going to install a CCTV system, the video points out, “Do it right—for yourself, for law enforcement, and for your community.”

The video is available for download at

Caught on Camera is also available free of charge in DVD format to members of the law enforcement community, business owners, CCTV vendors, suppliers, contractors, and educators. To request a copy, send an e-mail to Please include your name, position, agency, street address (no post office boxes), and telephone number

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