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Florida law enforcement increasingly reliant on mobile video surveillance vehicle

Florida law enforcement increasingly reliant on mobile video surveillance vehicle

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Named "The Peacemaker," a vehicle with surveillance cameras attached to has proved successful in targeting high-crime areas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Image Credit: FLPD

Named "The Peacemaker," a vehicle with surveillance cameras attached to has proved successful in targeting high-crime areas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This collaborative project between the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and Brink, a security services company, allows the city to take steps to reduce crime without over-stretching their budget and resources.

Since it was first introduced in August 2011, the Peacemaker has done just that--kept the peace and led to a significant drop in crime rates in targeted areas. Officials report that in addition to helping surveillance efforts in areas where police are not as well-staffed as they would like to be, the vehicle has deterred crime in places where it's deployed.

Brink provided the vehicle--which is designed for security purposes and thus not susceptible to vandalism and other efforts to detract from its functionality--and the FLPD attached the surveillant equipment, which can take footage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to FLPD spokesperson Travis Mandell, that 24/7 surveillance is one of the benefits the Peacemaker provides.

This technology has, however, been criticized by some residents. Some fear that it attracts negative attention to and fear of a suspect that in some cases isn't necessarily merited and victimizes those targeted--or those who appear to be targeted. The city, however, sees it as only a benefit to the community and has suggested adding another to their police force.

[via GovTec]

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure