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Wake To Employ Wireless Surveillance System

NBC 17 | December 7 2005

RALEIGH, N.C. -- An agreement between Wake County and electronics manufacturer Motorola will soon allow police to patrol major public venues around Raleigh without a large on-site presence.

The county is among the first to deploy the Motomesh wireless system that lets law enforcement authorities to use laptop computers and handheld devices to view footage from security cameras from virtually anywhere.

About $200,000 in Department of Homeland Security funds is being used to pay for surveillance at the State Fairgrounds, Carter-Finley Stadium and the RBC Center.

Four cameras -- two in the fairgrounds and one each at the other venues -- now provide images to North Carolina State University and State Fairgrounds police. The county hopes the system will tie Raleigh police into the venues for added security during events like the North Carolina State Fair, N.C. State athletic games and concerts, although the police department doesn't yet have access to the system.

Motorola initially developed the technology for battlefield applications to provide instant communication networks where fixed infrastructure wasn't available.

"We host many large events at our world-class venues in Wake County, and we needed a solution to better protect our residents and guests without having to increase the size of the security detail," John Higgins, the county's assistant director for information technology, said in a statement.

Some people told NBC-17 that the added security is worth the potential invasion of privacy.

"I don't think there can be enough protection, especially when I bring my sons to the games," Melissa Moesta said.

"It doesn't really particularly bother me. I think there are some people that may need watching," one woman said with a laugh.

"Big Brother might as well watch. He's watching everywhere else," another woman said. "If it slows down on crime, all the better, I suppose."

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