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Rome Police Department on waiting list for armored vehicle

By WKTV News

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Rome will soon have a new force on the streets, an unmanned armored vehicle. The city's Police Department is now on the waiting list for a decommissioned Brinks vehicle similar to the Utica Police Department's "Armadillo" to target crime on Rome's streets.

Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach says crime is on the rise in the city. "We have had an increase in some burglaries, some larcenies from vehicles unlocked vehicles in neighborhoods, garages that type of thing and a lot of them are just groups of kids going around," says Chief Beach. "I think having this around knowing there's a possibility that they're on camera that will cut down."

Rome Police now deploy a mobile command bus to high crime areas, however not only is it big, it's often a nuisance for traffic as its designed to be a command center not a surveillance vehicle.

The armored vehicle will have bullet proof windows, with surveillance cameras and recording equipment that will stream video directly back to the station.

Chief Beach says the project won't cost taxpayers anything, funded completely through donations and grants.

Police hope to secure a vehicle within the next few months and then equip it with surveillance to get it on the streets as soon as possible.

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