By David Madden
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Many urban areas utilize cameras to help keep the peace on the street, but few are able to move them around at will like Camden can with its new Sky Patrol.
The new Camden County Police Department is reaping the benefits of one of the last projects from the former Camden City force it replaced in April.
The Sky Patrol system had already been ordered by the time the new force was being hired. The unit can go 40 feet in the air, but what makes this system so desirable is that it’s portable.
“It’s equipped with cameras, infrared sensors, like a bullhorn mechanism or a loudspeaker mechanism,” says Camden County police spokesman Mike Daniels. “Whatever you want to call it.”
There are already a number of cameras available for police use, but they’re locked in to locations. The hope is this new eye in the sky, placed where needed, will serve as a very visible deterrent to those thinking about breaking the law.
“It’s an apparatus that, frankly, serves as a very visible police presence,” Daniels says. “We hope as much as anything that it helps prevent crime by people who would commit crime seeing it and not doing certain things they might do otherwise.”
It’s first use, at Broadway and Mickle Boulevard, resulted in three drug arrests, suspects from Camden, Clayton and Pittsgrove.