Eyes in the sky

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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AHOSKIE – Town officials here are adding a new weapon in an effort to lower the crime rate.

Actually, they are adding 24 new weapons.

The Ahoskie Town Council took the final steps last week to complete the purchase of 16 license plate readers and eight pan tilt zoom surveillance cameras.

The contract with Flock Camera System has been signed to order the 24 devices.

In October, Town Council approved spending $106,400 for the license plate readers. They added another $30,000 last week to purchase the pan tilt zoom cameras.

It is expected to take two to three months for the cameras to arrive and then be installed.

“We’re very excited to add these cameras,” said Mayor Weyling White at a special called meeting last week. “We feel they will help deter a lot of criminal activity in our town. I’m happy to see that a lot of work was put in to have these cameras strategically placed throughout our town. This is something we’ve needed for a long time.”

The license plate readers are capable of snapping up to 10 photos of a passing vehicle, capturing not only a license plate number, but also other distinguishing visual images such as the make and model of a vehicle. The town can store those images for up to 30 days. The images are only used for investigative purposes.

Those 16 cameras will be strategically placed throughout the town.

The pan tilt zoom cameras are capable of being remotely turned in a different direction. They each contain powerful optics, capable of a 25x zoom.

The eight pan tilt zoom cameras will be placed in strategic locations.

“I would like to thank the Council for approving this,” said Councilman David Hunt. “This is something our town needs. This is money well spent.

“We are all tired of hearing about shootings in our town,” Hunt added. “This council is working hard to mitigate this problem. Even when we get these cameras in place, we encourage our citizens to continue to let us know when you see something out of sorts. If you see something, say something.”

“We’re very grateful to you, the council, for approving this investment in the safety of our town. I believe these cameras will be very beneficial in our effort to fight crime,” stated Justin Farmer, Ahoskie’s interim Police Chief.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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