Bradenton, Florida-Bradenton Police add a new weapon to their crime fighting arsenal. In April surveillance cameras started going up along the Riverwalk now officers can see what the cameras see while on patrol.
Kimberly Barnes keeps a close eye on her nephews playing in the splash zone along the Riverwalk but she's not the only one watching. Kimberly did not realize there are three cameras around the park watching. "I feel watched, very watched," says Kimberly.
More than 20 cameras posted along the Riverwalk are monitored at the Bradenton Police Department from police officer's Kenny Simunovic's iPad.
"It allows me to be 15 people in 1," says Simunovic. As he and three other officers patrol on foot with the touch of a finger and a quick swipe Simunovic sees what every camera sees. He says, "There are no blind spots. If I have a person of interest I can zoom in right on him."
Officers cans use the video in an arrest. "As video evidence if they committed a crime we can ID them off the video," explains Simunovic.
"I saw this kid yesterday," one officer tells Simunovic as they look over pictures. Officers can take still shots from the video to pass around and. they can rewind video in the field. He says, "We are able to solve crimes faster."
Simunovic says criminals have received the message, "They don't like coming down here they know they are watched."
Ten News checked with Bradenton Police and their records show a 21% drop in incidents along the Riverwalk from April 1 until May 30 compared to the same time last year.
The iPads officers use only they have access to through a secured Wi-Fi signal.
So how does Kimberly feel about being watched now? She says, "There is an invasion of privacy but at the same time I know they are going to be safe out here."
Links to other cities police departments where cameras are used: