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Police to request computer equipment

May 01, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown Police Department will lobby the Hagerstown City Council this afternoon for permission to install $11,496 worth of computer equipment in the Washington County Regional Crime Laboratory to enhance video images from surveillance cameras.

Police Chief Arthur Smith said the equipment could be used, for example, to enhance surveillance video of a convenience store robbery. The images would be burned onto a DVD as evidence for the investigation and prosecution, he said.

Although the images would not be crystal clear, Smith said the equipment presents the best possible picture using today's technology.

The police department currently sends out its surveillance video for enhancement, a process that can be time-consuming, he said.

"Now, we can do it right away," Smith said. "It's important to us."

Capt. J.S. Moulton Jr. wrote in a memo last week to the city administrator that he anticipates $8,760 of the funding would come from a grant, and the Washington County Narcotics Task Force would cover the remaining $2,736.

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The police department receives surveillance video from a variety of sources, Moulton wrote. The computer equipment would be able to handle digital and nondigital surveillance footage.

City Finance Director Alfred Martin said he will recommend that the council approve the equipment purchase because adequate funds should be available.

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