ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city unveiled a new crime-fighting tool Thursday. It’s a mobile crime camera and more. It also feeds live video right into the Albuquerque Police Real Time Crime Center. One city councilor hopes this is just the beginning.
A new surveillance camera positioned at Pat Hurley Park keeps watch on what’s going on around the park, and city officials said more neighborhoods want them. Mobile surveillance cameras have been put up in the city before, but police said this newer model is even more sophisticated.
“It works off of a 4G signal that feeds signals back to the Real Time Crime Center, they can zoom into a license plate up to 200-300 feet away,” explained T.J. Wilham.
The $45,000 crime-fighting tool is one of four in a new fleet, equipped with flood lights, a PA system to scare troublemakers off and police can see what the cameras see 24/7.
“I think with the shortage of police officers we have in our city, I think this is going to be something we’re going to see more and more of throughout the city,” said City Council President, Ken Sanchez.
Neighborhood associations pushed for the cameras at Pat Hurley Park.
“I cannot say how happy we are to see this here,” said Joan Jones, of the Pat Hurley Neighborhood Association.
And this isn’t the only place police are watching. Currently, APD can pull up the video from 100 traffic cameras around the city. Police can also watch the feeds from another 300 private cameras positioned inside and outside businesses.
APD said they don’t always monitor the video due to privacy concerns, until there’s a reason to, or an alarm is triggered.
Police said there’s a long waiting list of neighborhoods and businesses that want the mobile cameras. Sanchez told News 13 he sees the demand too.
“We went and reached out to the neighbors, talked to neighbors and asked them about privacy issues, and they were more concerned about safety, saying we would not mind the cameras at all if we knew our parks were safe to take our family members,” Sanchez explained.
Similar tactics have been used to try and catch the person responsible for hate crimes at a Jewish deli.
Pat Hurley Park has had its share of violent crimes, including shootings and car-jackings. Police hope this new technological tool will help put a stop to it.
“I think it’s critical that we invest in these cameras, because it’s a small investment for public safety,” said Sanchez.
The money for the cameras at Pat Hurley Park came from the Council District 1’s set-aside fund.
Older models have been vandalized in the past, but police said these new mobile surveillance cameras are more durable.
News 13 asked APD and councilor Sanchez if there’s any talk of them putting up permanent surveillance cameras around town, like a lot of cities have done. The answer was no. However, Sanchez said there is talk of getting more of these mobile cameras.