(Caption: DeKalb police Sgt. Chad McNett talks about life as a patrol officer while he drives along West Hillcrest Drive near North Annie Glidden Road on Wednesday.)
Video surveillance growth
Redel said developments in video surveillance have made a major difference in fighting crime, with far more cameras in the Annie Glidden North area than a few years ago.
“There is no place in that area – Edgebrook, Hillcrest, Kimberly – that if you walk that street, you will not be on camera. Witnesses are good. Cameras are better.”
He recently said a UPS package was stolen, and a camera on a neighbor’s home helped identify the vehicle.
Petragallo said landlords have called the police department and expressed interest in installing more cameras.
“It’s not uncommon for us to get a phone call from an apartment manager asking us to come over here, look at their setup and offer any advice,” Petragallo said.
Further advancements in technology have been proposed. Police Chief Gene Lowery has said he wants the city to install a gunfire detection system, “ShotSpotter.” ShotSpotter’s technology can locate when an actual gunshot is fired and pinpoint its location.
Lowery said that it would cost between $150,000 to $250,000 to install the system and about $500,000 to install both ShotSpotter and cameras around the city.
The gunfire detection system is one of many topics on the minds of a task force appointed in September and charged with revitalizing the Annie Glidden North neighborhood.
On the road again
McNett celebrated his 22nd anniversary with the department in October. He’s been a patrolman, the community relations officer and in April 2016 became a sergeant and got back on the road.
Officer Trevor Burdick went out on his first shift alone in a car Wednesday night. McNett said fellow officers are always cognizant of when a newbie is on the road and are ready to assist in any high-intensity situations, as well as any that escalate.
He fondly remembered being a rookie in October 1996.
“It’s fun to watch them go through it,” McNett said. “Because we count on each other. We pushed him from the nest tonight, and as much as we like to poke fun [during roll call], we just want everyone to go home safely in the morning.”