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Township Police Finish Car Video Installation

SANATOGA PA – An effort to bring the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department into the age of live video monitoring is nearly complete, Police Chief Michael Foltz has told the township Board of Commissioners.

As part of his March 2016 monthly report, Foltz indicated the final phase of the installation of computer-controlled live video cameras mounted in department patrol vehicles was almost finished. Four new cameras have been purchased, he said. Two were recently installed in existing cars, and two more were scheduled to be installed this month in the police fleet’s newly arrived Chevrolet Tahoes.

Part of the roughly $50,000 overall cost of the project, which began last May (2015), was supported by a recent $1,000 grant obtained by the department from J.P. Mascaro and Sons, the township’s contracted refuse hauler, according to Foltz.

After substantial research Foltz ordered the cameras, and the computer server to which they are wirelessly connected, from WatchGuard Video Systems of Allen TX. Pennsylvania State Police have relied on its equipment for years and give it high marks, he reported earlier.

Cameras can be configured to operate either continually or be triggered by specific circumstances like a traffic stop. Attached computer storage drives allow recording of continuous video for between two and three patrol shifts. The server securely downloads video from each car as it rolls into the station.

As new patrol stock rolls into the department parking lot, the township is finding ways to extend the useful life of its retired sets of wheels, Foltz added. Although they may no longer be suitable for the rigors of patrol duty, they are being used elsewhere.

  • An unmarked 2007 Dodge Durango previously assigned to township detectives was re-purposed for the use of Fire Marshal Lew Babel. It replaces Babel’s township-owned former truck, which was sold.
  • One of the decommissioned Tahoes being replaced has been proposed by Foltz to be traded to the township’s contracted animal control officer, Jon Daywalt. Daywalt hopes to use the vehicle in his work, and the township would exchange its value to reduce the cost of its animal control agreement over coming years. Township Solicitor Charles Garner is review the proposal.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ March 7 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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