The Massena Police Department is getting a little help on patrol. But, it's not an extra officer, it's a new car outfitted with high-tech gear that will be hitting the streets in the coming months. Our Barry Wygel has the story.
MASSENA, N.Y. -- It may seem like science fiction, but the Massena Police Department is working to put an un-manned car into service as part of an ongoing surveillance initiative. The new car may not drive itself, but it will send live 360-degree video back to the station.
"We're creating a surveillance vehicle, and we're going to install cameras in this vehicle. It's going to allow us to put this vehicle in high crime areas," said Timmy Currier, Chief of the Massena Police Department.
The car is made possible in part, by a grant. Senator Joe Griffo was in Massena on Wednesday to announce he had secured $5,000, which will help pay for the project.
"It really allows him some latitude in order to do what he feels needs to be done here in the department," said State Senator Joseph Griffo.
Chief Currier says the surveillance initiative has already been helpful, much the cameras they placed on Main Street and Andrews Street.
"In fact, we used them on Saturday. There was an accident where both drivers indicated they had the green light and our sergeant was able to draw back and say 'you didn't have the green light'," said Currier.
These cameras and the new surveillance car will help fill the gaps of officers Currier said he might not have.
"We don't have enough eyes and ears, or boots on the ground. This is going to enhance that significantly for us," said Currier."
Mayor Hidy said that this will help answer the demands of some village residents who have requested more policing.
"They were adamant that there were certain sections within the village that need to be more monitored," said James Hidy, mayor of Massena.
Chief Currier would not go into details on what the car would look like. He would only say it will be unmarked.