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EPD's new 'guardian trailers' cause mixed reactions from community

Eugene police unveiled their new "guardian trailers" in downtown Eugene Friday and community members had mixed reactions.

Posted: Oct 20, 2018 4:37 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 11:43 AM

EUGENE, Ore -- Eugene police unveiled their new "guardian trailers" in downtown Eugene Friday and community members had mixed reactions.

KEZI 9 News first told you about these trailers in June.

Police Chief Chris Skinner announced in June that using mobile security camera trailers like this one could be part of the solution to stopping and preventing crime happening in the downtown core and other problem areas.

While addressing the Eugene City Council in June, Skinner said more needs to be done to address the issue.

"This is purposeful to not secretly watch people, but overtly let you know that behavior is being held accountable in the downtown core," Skinner said.

RELATED: Eugene police rolling out 'guardian trailers' on Friday

Eugene resident, Jennifer Evis said these cameras are necessary.

"I'm really happy that we have them," Evis said. "I've seen an increase in the crime in this area go up and I know it makes me really hopeful that crime in this area will get cut down."

She said not only has she seen more crime in Eugene, she's been a victim of it. She said her car has been broken into in downtown.

Evis and other community members said these $152,000 trailers will make downtown safer.

However, not everyone agrees.

Eugene resident, Trevor Bartlett said he feels "uneasy" when he looks at the trailers.

"I don't need a big intimidating tower with cameras there," Bartlet said of the guardian trailer in Kesey Square. "You can put cameras on the corner of buildings and stuff. I get the idea, they're portable and what not and maybe certain places do need more surveillance, but it just weirded me out when I saw them."

He said they don't have a place in downtown.

"We shouldn't turn the entire world into a prison and have everyone like that," he said. "It's kind of oppressed"

These high-tech trailers have at least three cameras on each of them.

The trailers will start off in three locations downtown, but Skinner said they are mobile and can be moved anywhere.

If police catch something happening in real-time, they have the ability to use an intercom on the trailers to tell whoever they want in the area to stop what they think is dangers or unnecessary.

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