Area police agencies get new mobile camera system

A photo of the new mobile camera system. (Oct. 9, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new piece of surveillance equipment will give area police agencies a new way to monitor large events.

“This is a mobile camera system, (it) allows us to move this system anywhere we would like, position it in any position we are able to fit it in,” said Captain David Kiddle with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The new mobile camera system was bought using Homeland Security funds and will be available to any police agency in a 13 county district.

“This is really the first time we started using was it with ArtPrize. We have been moving it around to different locations depending on what the situation may be,” said Capt. Kiddle

So far the Grand Rapids Police Department has set up the unit near the Ford Museum and has used it along the Ionia Avenue bar district on the weekends.

“It’s more for us to be able to see where crowds might be, monitor traffic control where we may want to put more police officers,” said Capt. Kiddle

Capt. Kiddle said police plan to use the mobile camera system at large festivals over the summer and for the ball drop New Year’s Eve.

“Its web based so we’re able to push it to any computer basically and that includes smart phones,” said Capt. Kiddle.

The system also records video and can store it for a couple of days so if something should happen officers can go back and look at the video.

“Obviously we can’t be everywhere so the ability for our watch commanders or our commander in charge of the actual ArtPrize for that day can monitor it and figure out where he needs different resources,” said Capt. Kiddle.

Since the unit is available to any police agency in a 13 county area, departments that would like to use it must reserve it ahead of time.

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