Tools

Pole cameras helped police locate Smith during chase

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Police were able to catch Kwamae Smith two weeks ago when he fled from a traffic stop on Genesee Street, thanks to the help of one of the department's pole cameras up around the city in an effort to try to deter crime.

In surveillance video from those pole cameras, you can see Kwamae Smith hiding behind a snowbank on the side of Palermo's Pizza.

A firefighter in the city's 911 center heard the chase that was going on and knew there was a camera in the area. That firefighter looked at the camera immediately and was able to tell police officers where Smith was hiding out.

"It's helped us with locating suspects, it's also helped us with a few times there's been car accidents at intersections where the cameras are," Sgt. Steve Hauck of the Utica Police Department said. "We use them pretty regularly, we try to. Not often times do you get it in the middle of a crime. In this particular situation, we were lucky enough to have a fireman who was quick on the spot, watch the video for us and we were able to locate the suspect."

The city put the cameras in about three years ago and police say they are useful in deterring crime in known high-crime areas, and in some cases, as this one, can even help catch someone in the act.

Hauck said that the Utica Police Department can and does move the cameras so they can watch different areas of the city.

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