Fayetteville Police Use Network of Security Cameras to Catch Suspects in Biker Shootout :: WRAL.com
Fayetteville, North Carolina – Fayetteville police have installed a network of security cameras across the city which they believe provides vital information that leads to the arrest of criminals.
To back up that claim, WRAL News asked for data on the department’s increased clearance rate, but officials said they weren’t tracking that information.
The ministry is investing $100,000 of taxpayers’ money to install the public-private camera feed system. Currently, the Fayetteville Police Department currently has 118 active security cameras in the community. These could belong to individuals or companies.
“We have a lot of technology in place in our community,” said Robert Spatorico, major crime investigator with the Fayetteville Police Department. “License plate readers, as well as a pretty robust surveillance system on public roads, public roads.”
More cameras are added and residents can register to have their home security cameras part of the police network.
Kerwin Pittman, director of policy and programs for the civil rights group Emancipate NC, said Fayetteville residents should be concerned about how the police department uses their data.
Pittman was particularly concerned about private citizens offering their cameras to the police.
“Everything on this camera can and will be used against you,” he said. “For any citizen, this should be a concern.”
A territorial dispute between rival motorcycle gangs prompted a shootout over the weekend that left three people dead, according to the police department. The shooting began with a fight in the afternoon at a convenience store on Owen Drive.
“It can be a situation where they just saw an opportunity or they saw some guys at the gas pumps and they approached them,” Spatirico said.
According to the police, the fight turned into a shooting three hours later in the parking lot of their Baymont Ramada Hotel. The newly installed technology is helping investigators identify other suspects in the case, Spatorico said.
“People with surveillance cameras who have collected snippets of information on this, so our detectives are working very hard to piece it all together to be able to identify some suspects,” Sptorico added.
Pittman said the new surveillance system reminded him of George Orwell’s 1984 book and said the department was going “too far” in using security footage to try to track down suspects after a shooting.
“[The police] may need to rethink how they deal with crime, [using] more of a community approach,” he said.
Instead of policing a community, Pittman emphasized that the Fayetteville Police Department should work to prevent crime before it happens.
The Fayetteville Police Department encourages local residents to enroll in the program by joining their non-emergency line.