Wondering what this obscenity of surveillance is on Mulberry and Timberline

Submitted by CatWhisperer on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 20:19

As I was driving around today, I noticed the following new Larimer County Sheriff Office item (looking brand new) sitting east from the Diesel Services of Northern Colorado parking lot in the median of Highway 14 (it was later moved to the concrete part of the median at Mulberry and Timberline)

Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine
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Pretty interesting machine, isn't it? I call it the Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine, or LCSOMSM in bureau-speak. It's when one looks at the mast closely though, that's when things get very interesting, because what precisely is the purpose of this piece of equipment?

Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine zoom.
 Click on image to view full resolution

Are we looking at cars, pedestrians, both, or did Sheriff Smith just by it for the homeless people who are panhandling in the general area, OR …? Here is a closeup of the mast. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine mast zoom.
Click on image to view full resolution

The proud owners of this wondrous piece of high technology paid for by the Larimer County taxpayer is yours truly, the

Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine proud owners.
Click on image to view full resolution

After these pictures were taken today, the LCSOMSM was moved to the concrete part of the West median of Mulberry and Timberline.

Larimer County Sheriff Office Mobile Surveillance Machine at Mulberry and Timberline.

Did the taxpayer really have to buy this very expensive item to actively monitor the homeless / pedestrians / traffic? Don't be picking your nose and eating the goober at Timberline and Mulberry, because the Larimer County Sheriff's Office wants to know, LOL. Did a camera ever stop a crime from occurring? If it's not to monitor the homeless, pedestrians, or traffic, then why was it purchased? Is this level of constant surveillance necessary and cost effective?

When Sheriff Smith and Larimer County come begging in hand for a tax rate increase, just realize that it seems we are purchasing fancy doodads rather than boots of the ground…


The Coloradoan posted the story a few weeks back about what this device is intended to do. It was sitting around somewhere at the Sheriff's Office gathering dust, and they decided to use it to keep the homeless from panhandling on Mulberry and Timberline.

The Coloradoan story is "Larimer County Sheriff's Office trains camera on panhandling hotspot"

Last week, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office perched a mobile camera unit at the popular panhandling hangout just east of Fort Collins’ city limits. It’s intended to deter the practice and is one of the early steps to enforce new county panhandling restrictions that took effect this month.

“It’s a big camera on a pole. We’ve had it for a couple of years,” said Capt. John Manago of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a force multiplier for us. We’re able to see more with fewer people.”

More importantly, Manago said, it’s a highly visible deterrent that keeps panhandlers away from one of their favorite haunts, where asking for money is newly prohibited. So far, the camera has worked to shoo away panhandlers, but it doesn’t deserve all of the credit.“The combination of the weather and the camera being there has worked as a deterrent,” Manago said. “But we know the weather’s going to change. It’s going to get nicer, and then we’ll get a better indication of how effective the camera is.”

That will work until somebody is willing to get ticketed / arrested to challenge the law. Maybe then we can get the ACLU up here also, like they are in Colorado Springs, fighting for the rights of some of our most at-risk citizens. Shame on you, Larimer County Commissioners…

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