You never know what's around the next corner and if you're a police officer, which can get you killed. That's why the Muskogee Police Special Ops team is happy to get the latest in high-tech camera gear.
As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg shows us, it goes to great lengths to help keep police safe.
The Muskogee Police Special Ops team is pretty intimidating as it is. And now they've got the same high-tech camera gear that's used by Navy Seals and other Special Forces. Muskogee Police Lt Chad Farmer: "We're a small agency so we don't have the funding to buy it. It's phenomenal being able to use it." The long arm of the law now has eyes. The pole camera transmits a wireless signal to a wrist monitor that's straight out of Dick Tracy.
The high-resolution camera can be set for either color or black-and-white and can rotate 360-degrees and is a long way ahead of the homemade mirror they used to use. Lt Farmer: "When you're looking in the mirror, everything is reversed and it's hard to judge distance and that sort of thing, so the camera helps out quite a bit on that." The camera can even see in the dark, plus the nice thing about infrared, is they can see their subject without giving away their position. Lt Farmer: "With that, we can stick it in there, and he has no idea we're even looking in the room."
And when you're dealing with a cornered criminal, seeing is relieving. Lt Farmer: "We have a lot of people, they have a tendency to go up in attics and hide and that's not a very good feeling to stick your head up in a dark attic." Designed for military use, it's rugged, even submersible. Lt Farmer: "He said it was 'cop-proof', so we can't tear it up, and it's easy to use."
And did we mention as it turns out, it's even an Oklahoma product, made by Tactical Electronics in Broken Arrow. Lt Farmer: â€œI didn't even realize they were down the road until we got it." They think the pole camera has the potential to extend some life spans. â€œI'm sure it will, there's no doubt about it."
The Muskogee Police Department was one of just 79 agencies in the country to get the camera, thanks to a special grant from the National Tactical Officers Association.