RBPD gets new camera
RED BAY – The Red Bay Police Department is now the owner of a new heat-sensing camera thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
Sgt. Scottie Belue attended three days of training in Chicago paid for through the grant in order to learn how the camera works and the many ways it can be utilized in the department.
Belue said during the training that he and the other participants had to take a 60-question test and complete an assignment using the camera before completing the course.
"I was a little nervous because of the test but I made a 100 on it, and completed my assignment quickly," Belue said.
He added that the camera will become a vital part of the department's equipment collection as it can be used in numerous situations.
"The camera detects surface temperature," Belue said. "So it can be used in a lot of different types of cases."
Accident investigation is one example of how the camera can be used. Anti-lock breaks do not leave a mark that is visible to the eye, but if the officer arrives within 30 minutes of the accident, the camera can be used to see how the accident occurred.
"We can focus on the pavement and see the path the vehicle took because of the heat left on the pavement," Belue said.
Other situations where the camera may be used include finding wandering children or adults, searching for accident victims, and aerial surveillance.
Belue said the cost of the camera alone is $19,000 and the grant included the cost of his training, accommodations and travel to Chicago so the grant was worth more than $20,000.
The new camera is only one of many different pieces of equipment the department has received over the past year or so.
"We lost a lot more than people realize in the fire," Belue said. "This equipment not only replaces some of what we lost, it allows us to be more up to date with our investigations," Belue said.
The department continues to search for new grants for which to apply to replace lost equipment and to keep the department on top of technological advances to help them with their investigations.