(WICHITA, Kan) — The Wichita Police Department has purchased five cameras it hopes will help in areas where graffiti, vandalism and illegal dumping are a problem.
The cameras look like just a gray box. They use active surveillance, which means they only record when they see motion. The police department says they capture clear, high resolution images and can read license plates 250 feet away in total darkness. They are solar powered.
The cameras can be mounted on a pole or a fence or hidden, like in bushes. Wichita PD says they will keep them in plain sight as a deterrent. The cameras are made to withstand vandalism, including gunshots.
There is a camera for each sub-station and one for investigations. An officer will be assigned to each one. Once a week, they will drive to the place where it is set up. Then the officer can download the camera's information using a laptop computer, without ever getting out of his patrol car. The cameras are mobile and can be moved to different locations depending on need.
County Commissioner Jim Skelton said this is something he was working on as a City Council member. He believes the cameras "will help catch the bad guys". He says the city spends around 250-500 thousand dollars each years cleaning up graffiti and illegal dumping.
The cameras only cost $28,000. They were paid for through stimulus funds.