How Evansville Police use The Guardian

How Evansville Police use “The Guardian”
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Police Department has placed an armored surveillance truck along Morton Avenue at the wreckage site of a massive fire to deter looting. With the truck in place, 14 News spoke with police about how the truck works.

Sergeant Anna Gray said the principle is simple; If you see a big police truck with cameras, you’ll probably not commit a crime near it.

“The whole goal is to deter crime in a specific area for whatever reason,” she said.

She said in most cases, if “The Guardian” shows up, someone in the community asked for it to be there.

“People can call the Crime Prevention Office if there’s been recent thefts in the area,” she said. “It could be there’s a suspected drug house in the area.”

Whether those are the reasons or if people spot looting in some rubble, the guardian comes by popular demand and goes just as quickly.

Gray said it doesn’t just hang around neighborhoods.

“Usually three to five days we try to move them or rotate them,” she said. “There is a list of places where people have requested them.”

It’s typically unmanned, but it does record what happens around it.

As a mostly preventative measure, it doesn’t typically capture crimes in progress.

“We’ve had thefts in the area before where we didn’t necessarily catch it, but we at least caught the suspect in the area on video,” she said.

Gray said there are two trucks and three trailers that make up their surveillance fleet.

She said they want people to be curious about the truck. She said if you see it in your area, you should call the police department so they can tell you why it’s there and what to keep an eye out for.

Thursday, the Guardian was at the concession stand that was burglarized earlier in the week at Pollack and Vann.

[Related: Community steps up after Evansville youth baseball league loses concessions in robbery]