Voyeur Cameras In Female Cops' Changing Room, Lawsuit Says

It's no secret that HCC and its police department are going through some tough times. Well, throw another log on the fire.

Two HCC employees have filed a lawsuit against the college claiming that officials authorized hidden cameras in a room used by female police officers to change in and out of their uniforms.

"The hidden cameras' location reveal the intention behind their installation was not security," the federal lawsuit states, "but fit more in line with spying for spying's sake or designed to please the prurient interest" of those watching and listening to the videos.

HCC security officer Alfreda Jones claims she found out that there was a camera hidden in an air vent in the Security and Campus Police Office on the Coleman campus, near Hermann Park, when someone working for a private security firm mistakenly showed up during the day to attend to the camera. Jones and HCC police officer Kimberly Mason say the office had lockers and was a private room often used to change clothes.

The two women apparently filed an open records request and discovered that the video camera in the security office was not the only one. They claim that others were concealed behind clocks and smoke detectors, in places such as over the restroom area of a lab, in the student services office, in the library, and at least two in or outside of the security office. Regular security monitors were visibly mounted in stairwells, the loading dock, the cashier's office and the parking lots, the HCC officers claim.

Jones and Mason believe the hidden cameras were used from 2005 to 2008, meaning, at the very least, it predates many of the other issues facing the HCC police department and may be unrelated.

Still, Jones and Mason claim that the hidden cameras were installed at the instruction of the director of maintenance with the approval of the vice-president of finance.

HCC spokesman Dan Arguijo did not respond to questions related to the accusations prior to publication, but in the past, the college has not commented on pending lawsuits.


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