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City council supports crime-fighting measures

Posted on May 11, 2022

Local news
Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell

Rocky Mount Police Chief Robert Hassell

ROCKY MOUNT — The City Council voiced support during a recent work session for two crime-fighting proposals presented by Police Chief Robert Hassell.

Businesses are being asked to voluntarily link security cameras to the police's intelligence-gathering platform. Hassell also outlined plans to install 16 additional license plate readers throughout Rocky Mount.

The Police Department currently uses 67 city-owned cameras, 19 police-installed cameras and 39 housing authority cameras to help solve crimes. Hassell said expanding this system to include security cameras from businesses would further enhance his department’s ability to respond and investigate criminal activity on a real-time basis.

Businesses that participate will have their cameras connected to the city’s platform through a video core that police will install at no charge.

The sharing of cameras is 100% voluntary and businesses can choose to share some or all their cameras.

The Police Department’s primary goal is to have access to cameras facing public parking lots and roads, Hassell said.

“I think it is a great idea,” Mayor Sandy Roberson said during the work session.

The city now has four license plate readers. The 16 new readers would be placed in high-crime areas, neighborhoods that have seen an increase in crime and on some of the city’s major thoroughfares. The cost of installing the new license plate readers will be $46,500.

Hassell said license plate readers are an essential tool in identifying vehicles that have been involved in crimes.

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