Police to get Drones, CCTV and Gunshot Spotters

Min. of National Security Marvin Dames

Drones, closed-circuit television and gunshot spotters are just some of the crime-fighting tools that the Royal Bahamas Police Force will introduce in an effort to tackle and address the existing crime scourge.

The announcement was made Monday by National Security Minister Marvin Dames, who estimated that the technological gadgets will be introduced to all field officers before June 2019.

Dames’ comments came during a graduation ceremony for the National Neighborhood Watch Council (NNWC) where 57 neighbourhood watch groups were challenged to assist police with keeping their communities safer.

During his address, Dames revealed that Cabinet has recently given approval for new technology like the “shot spotter,” to assist in the crime fight.

“It is a gunshot detection technology,” he explained. “So, once that is introduced throughout New Providence and parts of Grand Bahama; wherever a shot is fired it instantaneously sends that information to vehicles on the street.

“The technology is actually smart enough to triangulate where that shot is coming from, so this ultimately will cut down on the response time.”

The minister estimated that the technology will cost government somewhere between $2-$4 million.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is also in the pipeline.

“We have been working toward introducing this for quite some time and we know that some persons within various communities have personal security systems already, so imagine if we are able to connect all of that technology into one network, where personal home security cameras can be linked to your nearest police station,” Dames shared.

Dames also revealed that an additional $4 million has been approved for a drone programme to be introduced.

“We should be sending out the request for proposals in a few days that will allow us to acquire drones and will have medium and long-term drones that will be watching the city 24/7,” he shared.

“All of this is in an effort to make The Bahamas safe.”

Government is also in the process of identifying a company to provide the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) with body cameras for all field officers, according to Anthony Ferguson, RBPF Commissioner.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News, the police commissioner revealed that the force is actively engaged in dialogue with a number of prospective body camera suppliers.