Albuquerque Police Department unveils new surveillance technology
Posted at: 07/16/2012 9:27 PM
| Updated at: 07/16/2012 11:17 PM
By: Marissa Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4
On Monday, Albuquerque police unveiled a high-tech tool they hope will help in SWAT standoffs that last several hours.
It is a mobile unit with several cameras to add an extra set of eyes to the crime scene, but some people question why these SWAT situations have to take so long in the first place.
Officers recently learned their everyday lapel cameras has a short battery life and could not keep up in the those long SWATS. So they bought what is called a mobile surveillance trailer.
Up until now, it has been an officer's lapel camera that has been the added eyes and ears for police. But it turns out, those lapel cameras are not always so helpful.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said batteries in the cameras died after about an hour into what would later become a 15 hour standoff.
On Monday, police showed off a 30-foot tall surveillance trailer that has four cameras on top, a recorder on the bottom and it runs off a generator.
"It will assist the team leaders and negotiators so they'll be able to get a birds eye view of what's going on," Schultz said.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 went back to the southwest Albuquerque neighborhood where 20-year-old Santiago Chavez held police off for an entire day. Neighbors said they were either trapped in their homes or forced to sleep somewhere else.
"We just stayed on the street, we slept in the back of a truck... we couldn't do nothing," said neighbor George Ortega.
Once neighbors learned about the new device, they said it would be helpful, but want to know why SWAT situations last that long in the first place.