(KMOV) – St. Clair County has a new approach to deterring crime: an armored truck outfitted with surveillance cameras.
The sheriff’s office plans to park it in troubled neighborhoods to scare away criminals.
They say they will park it in front of suspected drug houses or other problem areas to “shame” suspects.
A criminologist at the University of Missouri – St. Louis says the idea may deter some crime, but probably only for a little while.
“Usually that crime doesn't completely go away. People move onto other targets, other drug markets in other communities, or even a couple of blocks down the road,” says Beth Huebner.
The trucks will be parked on public streets. Cameras will not zoom into windows of homes.
But attorney Al Watkins says people may sue, calling it a nuisance.
“If somebody is doing something wrong, punish them, arrest them, put them through the court system where the due process rights are protected,” he says. “Don’t punish them without conviction, and certainly don’t catch a lot of well meaning people in the cross hairs of the exterminator and its video cams.”