Metro camera eyes crime at north end of Strip

LAS VEGAS -- There is something you may have noticed if you've driven by the new SLS Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Strip, a mobile camera is sitting in plain sight right on the corner. Metro Police say there are several reasons for the new equipment, but the biggest factor is an increase in nuisance and violent crimes in the area.

An extra eye is watching every move at the corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard and police aren't trying to hide it.

"When we see an increase in particular crimes whether it be violent street crime or high-nuisance crimes we will deploy different resources out there and one of the resources that we have is this mobile camera," Metro Police officer Jesse Roybal.

The camera is mounted on a mobile trailer and announces it belongs to Metro Police. The conspicuous police presence is a strategic move.

"You have to think about crime in general, you're not going to commit a crime if you know somebody's watching and that's the big thing," Roybal said.

The mobile camera along with dozens of permanent cameras up and down the Strip and downtown along Fremont Street are streamed live into Metro's Fusion Center, which is a 24-hours a day, seven days a week nerve center of information where police are watching.

"Our officers at this intersection might see a large crowd, or a nuisance start to form then we can immediately get the resources down there to help alleviate that problem," Roybal added.

The corner is about to see a big change as the former Sahara Hotel will debut as the new SLS Las Vegas. A steel construction site on the northeast corner of the intersection will become a Walgreens pharmacy.

Elvis Conseco says he likes the camera and he has noticed a decrease in pan handling and other nuisance crimes.

"I feel safe, people are walking around more freely, happy tourists are more free," Conseco said.

Metro says the camera can be deployed anywhere throughout the city or county.


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