The Duluth Police Department is looking for a few good men and women to help fight crime.
Officers hope more residents will step up to spot suspicious activity on dozens of city cameras, as a part of the Virtual Patrol Program.
“I just love technology. I really enjoy paying back the city of Duluth,” said resident and volunteer Marty Dorfman, who is the head of volunteers for the program.
Dorfman showed FOX 5 News how he can view and scan close to 70 cameras for the city, all at once. He said he sees a range of suspicious activity on the cameras daily, from people attempting to break into cars, to vandals, people littering, and reckless drivers out on the road.
“You have to learn to think like a thief. When I’m looking at these cameras, I look for suspicious activity, and I can pretty much spot it,”” he said; in addition to graduating from the department’s citizen academy, Dorfman was also a former security guard and used to sell security systems.
“If I see suspicious activity, I’ll take a snapshot right away,” Dorfman said, who then radios the officers a description of the suspect and a location.
Police said the department has typically staffed officers to scan the cameras, but with help from residents and volunteers, the officers on duty can devote more of their time to patrols out on the streets.
“That’s the whole goal of this– reduce manpower needed by officers watching cameras,” said Officer Ted Sadowski, who oversees the program.
The city plans to add close to 35 more cameras around Duluth.
Volunteers can commit to a handful of hours per week or more, and shifts can range from early in the daytime to the early hours of the morning.
Residents must live in the city of Duluth.
Anyone interested can click here to fill out an application to help protect the city.
Residents can also contact Officer Ted Sadowski for more information on the program at the department’s number: (770) 476-4151.
Businesses interested in having a city camera installed on their property can also contact Duluth Police.
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