Huntersville police going high-tech with cameras
by Staff Writer
The Huntersville Police Department is about to take the fight skyward. The department plans to purchase small, wireless cameras and place them in areas around town to help pick out scofflaws.
“All the big cities have cameras, the (state’s Department of Transportation) has cameras for busy intersections,” said Lt. Barry Graham. “We can use them for crimes that occur like robberies, so we can get police vehicles coming and going out of the area.”
The cameras would primarily be used to help with the traffic on Huntersville’s main roads like Sam Furr Road, one of the highest-traffic thoroughfares in the area.
However, Graham says the cameras can do more than just help with traffic.
“It is simply a security measure that we will have in town to help things run smoother,” Graham said. “We can use it for all kinds of things, we are not targeting one particular type of crime.”
The wireless cameras are small, yet extremely powerful as they are able to pan, tilt and zoom hundreds of yards. However, the cameras will be most effective during daylight hours, Graham said.
According to the Huntersville police, the cameras will all run off one large server and allow officers to connect with that server in their cars while out on patrol.
Graham says that six cameras would be able to recall video history from three to four days after a crime. However, Graham says that with the addition of more cameras, that recall time could fall to only 24 hours.
The Cornelius Police Department operates a small network of cameras, wired to the town’s 911-dispatch center, and town officials have discussed upgrading to a broader, wireless network.
The initial project calls for six cameras, but the Huntersville Police Department could add as many as 16 or more cameras over the course of the next few years, Graham said.
Graham estimates the project to cost between $24,000 and $25,000 total.
But it may take a while before that kind of money is available for the project.
Huntersville residents can expect the cameras to be watching over the streets beginning sometime next year.