Ogden Police Using Mobile Cameras to Deter Crime

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Ogden police are finding success with some new technology that helps deter crime. They’ve started using what they call “mobile cameras.” They place them in crime hot spots throughout the city.

“If you live in Ogden, you’ve probably seen one of the two mobile camera units around town. It may not look like much, there’s a flashing blue light, with cameras on a pole, and the police logo, but police claim it significantly reduces crime anywhere they put it,” said Reporter Brian Carlson.

“The crime has just dried up, sometimes as much as 50%,” said John Harvey, Deputy Director of Administration for Ogden Police Department.

Ogden police said mobile cameras or “guardian trailers” are stopping crime before it starts. John Harvey, Deputy Director of Administration for the Ogden Police Dept. said they recently began placing the mobile cameras in crime hot spots throughout the city. When they do, crimes like car break-ins go down.

“When the criminals go through there, they’re not stupid, they elect to go somewhere else to do whatever it is they do, because they fear being videoed on that,” said Harvey.

Right now one of the department’s two mobile cameras is parked at the Ogden Walmart.

“Did you notice the camera?” Carlson asked.

“I didn’t know it was a camera,” said Mike Daich, Walmart customer.

On Friday Reporter Brian Carlson spoke with customers, to see if it makes a difference.

“I think so, I think anytime there’s a camera and generally people tend to behave better,” said Margaret Gritten, customer.

“I know there’s crime, and there’s people that tend to take advantage,” said Daich.

Not everybody likes it.

“They should be patrolling and people wouldn’t be breaking into cars,” said Jaimie Martinez, customer.

“So you prefer police actually show up in person?” Carlson asked.

“Yeah,” said Martinez.

But if you ask police they get more out of the cameras than they could with one officer.

“It’s what we call in police, we call it a force multiplier because it does so much more with fewer people,” said Harvey.

The mobile cameras units have deterred crime so well, police plan to eventually get five or six of them. So people in Ogden could be seeing a lot more of them. Next month Ogden police are also planning on putting fixed cameras on 25th Street. Officers can use them to monitor the street, and regular people can log on to see the video too.

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