||Homeland Security Grants Provide Chico Police Department with Tiny Wireless Surveillance Cameras That Can See Through Walls
Tiny cameras soon to be among Chico police tools
Tiny portable surveillance cameras, paid for by federal Homeland Security grants, soon will help police monitor crime-prone places in Chico.
Between eight and 10 of the cameras, which are less than one-inch-square and can be equipped with night vision, are expected to arrive at the Chico Police Department next week, said Tim Truby, a community services officer in the special operations division.
He said the cameras can transmit to a maximum range of 700 feet through walls, or up to 15 miles line-of-sight.
"We can have multiple locations," he said.
The cameras send images either to a digital recorder or to a portable monitor that police can watch in their vehicles, Truby said.
"Most of it is wireless and allows us a lot of flexibility," he said. "The main goal is for covert and mobile versatility."
The initial reason for requesting the cameras was to combat graffiti vandals, he said.
"We've had thousands of dollars of damages to businesses," Truby said.
But they also have SWAT applications, and can be used to monitor drug houses and "places with potential terrorists or anarchists, that need to be watched," he said.
Debbie Collins, a management analyst with the Chico police, said the federal grant money is disbursed to Butte County's Office of Emergency Services, which purchases equipment based on requests from cities.