Exeter PD buys secret surveillance equipment to help thwart auto thefts in area

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By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

EXETER – Where law enforcement adds eyes to their skies, Exeter invests in eyes they can hide.

In order to save time and personnel costs, the Exeter Police Department is accepting nearly $ 12,500 to purchase auto theft deterrent camera equipment. Some will be bright as day, but some of the equipment could be easily concealed. Without revealing the location of their cameras, criminals will have to think twice before deciding if they want to steal a car and then where to leave it.

The source of funding was from a small fund at the county level and established through registration fees. According to a report from Exeter staff on the purchase when drivers register their cars in Tulare County, one dollar of their registration fee is allocated to a fund for local law enforcement. Police departments and other agencies trying to mitigate auto theft can submit proposals for funds. The money in the fund is to be used for the prevention, detection and investigation of auto theft, according to a report from Exeter staff.

“These funds are commensurate with each agency, accumulate over time, and are only received once a specific request has been made and approved by a county review committee,” the report said.

Exeter is looking to make the most of its share of the fund by purchasing photo equipment that will help thwart future auto thefts. Exeter Police Chief John Hall asked for $ 12,440.95, the amount was approved by the review board and Exeter City Council approved it in its consent schedule last week , Tuesday April 9.

The city has “sole-sourced” the project with QPCS technology integration experts from Ceres, California. They will provide a surveillance system that is both secretive and open. Chief Hall notes in his staff report that the manifest system, a pole-mounted camera system, can help to act as a deterrent if observed by a subject. The secret camera is more likely to identify the suspects while committing the crime.

“Both of these systems are easily portable and can be strategically placed in various locations depending on specific trends / needs,” noted a report from Exeter staff. “These systems each have the capacity to store data and be viewed remotely, maximizing resource use. “

The pole mounted camera system looks like any ordinary surveillance device. However, a secret camera can be disguised in something like an electrical box. The Exeter staff report says car thieves frequently target a specific area for their crime due to the easy access to the vehicle.

“These areas are often identified as specific shopping malls, parking lots or other areas where a large number of vehicles are parked,” the staff report said.

After stripping the car for parts, or whenever the thief is done with it, they “throw the car” into an area where there are few people, or where it will blend in. Areas such as those that allow thieves to quietly abandon the unsuspecting vehicle.

Instead of assigning an officer to monitor a suspicious area, committing staff time and taxpayer dollars for something that might not happen, Exeter notes that it is much more cost effective to use surveillance. Exeter Police will display their surveillance equipment where they can identify “hot spots”.

“We know that it is not possible to leave an officer in an area continuously for days in the hope of identifying suspects,” the report said. “We can, however, deploy surveillance systems and leave them in place… and then review the footage for the specific time period in which the crime occurred.”

QPCS’s camera systems are supported by software that incorporates the ability to establish “electronic fences” that will activate the cameras when someone walks past the perimeter. The software also comes with the option of integrating facial recognition software.

Exeter PD buys secret surveillance equipment to help thwart auto thefts in area2019-06-03The Sun-Gazette newspaperhttps://thesungazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/sub-Bus-Camera_box-1.png200px200px



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