The Wrightsville Beach Police Department is giving the island's security camera system and cameras an upgrade. According to Chief Dan House, the new camera system will cost around $55,000 and believes it is worth the cost.
Right now, there is only one working camera in Wrightsville Beach, and House said even that camera is having major issues.
House explained that light from headlights or taillights completely wash out images taken at night, making it impossible to tell if a person is even there.
"It's of absolutely no value to us at that point," said House.
Additionally, it's very difficult to make out someone's features if the cameras catch them too far away or while they're moving.
"We've had so many crimes that we could have solved if we had good video footage," said House. "It's been exceptionally frustrating, just because you have somebody on camera that you know has committed a crime and the only thing you can tell is just a basic general description, as far as getting any detail, it's just not there."
House said the new cameras have a feature to pull in ambient light when video is captured at night, and brighten the image up so that it looks like it is daytime.
They will also shoot video instead of just sending back an image every couple of seconds, which is the case with the current camera system.
Additionally, officers will now be able to zoom in without the image becoming pixilated. Finally, officers will be able to watch the surveillance video in real time from their squad cars.
Because they are replacing the entire system, House said they will be able to add more cameras at a low cost down the line, because they are replacing the entire system.
According to House, the new system could be installed as early as next week and will start with cameras in three locations.
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