GB Police technological advancement project one step closer to completion

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ACP CUNNINGHAM ADDRESSING THE MEDIA – Assistant Commissioner of Police Theophilus Cunningham addressing members of the media on Thursday, November 3, 2022 about the upgrade of policing technology for the Grand Bahama Police Force. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Northern Division) Theophilus Cunningham has reported that the second phase towards the implementation of various technological advancements for the Grand Bahama Police Force has been completed. During a press conference at police headquarters on Thursday, November 3, 2022 the Assistant Commissioner revealed that personnel from Motorola and the Royal Bahamas Police Force technical staff recently completed the groundwork for the second phase of the advancement, thereby moving implementation closer to finish.

Soon, the Grand Bahama Police Force will have full use of Shot-Spotter, CCTV and the Marco Alert Digital Billboard.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clayton Fernander, came on an official visit to Grand Bahama, on Monday September 5, 2022 and during that time, he gave his word that the technical advantages in relation to policing, experienced on the island of New Providence, would come to Grand Bahama in the form of Shot-Spotter, CCTV and the Marco Alert Digital Billboard,” said ACP Cunningham.

“The Commissioner of Police, in his wisdom, has brought these technological advantages to Grand Bahama to ensure that there is equal opportunity in relation to these advanced crime fighting resources, not just in New Providence, but in Grand Bahama also.”

Shot Spotter is a firearm discharge detection technology that uses sophisticated sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal firearm activities as it happens. The digital alert system includes a precise location on a map, with corresponding data such as the address, number of rounds fired, the type of gun fired, etc.

ACP Cunningham noted that the information provided by Shot Spotter is key to better protecting officers, by providing them with increased tactical awareness. It also will enable police officers on the island of Grand Bahama to bolster their mission to create safer communities.

Closed Circuit Television (or CCTV) is designed to increase surveillance by making it easier for police to monitor the behavior of potential criminals. This technological advancement is intended to deter criminals by increasing the probability of detection of criminal behavior.

“CCTV footage has been proven to be highly effective in relation to criminal investigation in terms of identifying suspects in offences that are committed within view of the sensors,” said ACP Cunningham.

“The Marco Alert is named after the late Marco Archer, an 11 year old sixth grade student, who was reported missing in September 2011. The system has been patterned after the Amber alert system in the United States of America. With the successful implementation of the Marco Alert Digital Billboard, Grand Bahama citizens are expected to become more aware in quick time in relation to urgent bulletin alerts.”

As the country prepares to enter the Yuletide season, the Assistant Commissioner of Police laid out a few strategies to help reduce the fear of crime and create safer communities. He encouraged members of the public not to travel with large bags or be overloaded with bags. This, he said will make individuals easy targets for people seeking to rob them. He said this becomes especially important in the busy shopping areas and at bus stops.

“Try not to shop at night time, but if you do, please shop with others,” ACP Cunningham advised. “This is for safety reasons. If you are alone and need to return to your vehicles, reach out to security officers who may be in that area and ask them to escort you to your vehicle.

“To business owners, we urge you to secure your businesses and if necessary hire responsible security firms during the busy hours.

“Furthermore, do not keep large sums of cash in your cash registers. Make frequent deposits and when doing so, be sure to check your surroundings thoroughly and seek the assistance of the police.

“Ensure that the security officers that are employed by you are not packing groceries, instead of being on the look-out for suspicious looking persons who may attempt to rob the establishment.”

The Assistant Commissioner of Police said that it is critical that the police continue to work together with their community partners, NGOs, and Government sectors to ensure that the Bahamian people receive the proper, professional service that they’re entitled too.

By ANDREW COAKLEY/Bahamas Information Services