Guardian trailers arrive downtown

Eugene Police adopt data-based approach to surveillance

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With multiple complaints of crime throughout the City of Eugene, the Police Department needed to take action.

Chris Skinner, relatively new police chief, attempted to deter some of this criminal activity by placing guardian trailers, mobile units mounted with rotating cameras, throughout town.

“This is not designed to catch people doing things, this is not designed to try and sneak up on people,” Chief Skinner said. “This is designed for people to see these trailers, feel comfortable knowing that the Eugene Police Department is paying attention and has really taken an interest in their livability and their sense and feeling of safety.”

The trailers are set to be placed at the intersections of 8th and Oak, Broadway and Olive and Broadway and Willamette Streets These locations were selected based on complaints and crime data, Skinner said.

The trailers cost the city of Eugene a grand total of $152,000. The money was accessed through a portion of a one-time funding set aside by the city, Skinner explained.

$6.3 million was budgeted out by the City of Eugene this year for materials and services involved in patrol.

The trailers’ official names are the Falcon 3100 and the Commander 3400, and they have many capabilities and functions: infrared night time abilities, three HD cameras with tilt, pan and zoom, speakers, a light up function and solar capability. These trailers are also mobile and can be deployed in any area throughout the city.

Skinner explained that they decided to purchase two different trailers to offer more “variety.”

“Every time you have a piece of equipment, it has a tendency to serve a unique purpose based on the circumstance,” Skinner said.

The police department plans on training their officers on how to use the trailers this week.

The intention is not to have 24-hour surveillance, according to Skinner, but instead to view the footage when crime and/or suspicious activity is reported in one of these areas.

The officers will have the ability to view these cameras on their smartphones or tablets should there be any crime or suspicious activity. They will also be able to communicate through a speaker mounted on the trailers and talk to anyone near the trailer.

The trailers will be well-marked and extremely visible to further support the idea that the Eugene Police are not trying to sneak up on the public.