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Police Add Spy Camera To Arsenal
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Big Brother is watching — and hoping to catch vandals — thanks to the recent purchase of a special mobile surveillance camera manufactured by Q-Star Technology that will not only capture high-quality images but is triggered by motion.

For the approximate price of $7,300, paid for by Redevelopment Funds, police will be able to go after the vandals who have created eyesores by tagging buildings, walls, mailboxes, etc., with gang symbols and other rubbish by providing proof of the crime.

“This will give us an extra set of eyes on the street as well as give us evidence to use when we go after prosecution,” Lt. Vernon Gladney of the Oakdale Police Department said of the new equipment. “It could also serve as a deterrent to the vandals if they know they could be photographed while committing the crime. It’s just another tool to help us.”

The camera, which will be mounted at an undisclosed location and will move throughout the city to avoid detection, is set to be installed in two weeks. Not only high-tech but green too, the camera operates on A/C power but uses solar power to run the rechargeable battery. It can be programmed through a wireless connection and has infrared capability and doesn’t need ambient light to operate. One of the challenges previously experienced by surveillance cameras is the fact that many crimes happen in the dead of night, making visibility difficult. That’s not a problem with this new camera. When activated, the camera produces a flash and even features a pre-recorded message to violators if activated.

Oakdale is joining a handful of other cities, such as Ceres, that have already implemented this graffiti deterrent.

And it’s just in time, too.

Recent reports of graffiti have increased over the past few weeks and police, as well as residents, are eager to see justice served, said Gladney.