Manchester police have a new tool in fighting crime thanks to the donation of a night vision camera from the Crestwood Village Garden Club.
After speaking at a club meeting last month concerning the string of burglaries in the Crestwood Villages, club members decided that they wanted to contribute to the police department.
Members thought about donating a ballistic vest for officer use, but found that other groups throughout the township have already made that offering. After speaking with Chief of Police Brian Klimakowski, club President Karen Mohr said that she found the department could use a night vision camera.
"We are very happy to present the Manchester Police Department with a camera," Mohr said Wednesday afternoon when she presented the device — a Reconyx Hperfire — to Klimakowski during a club meeting which also served as a Halloween celebration.
"Trust me when I tell you, the police department truly appreciates this," Klimakowski said.
The chief said that Manchester did not have a camera capable of capturing nighttime images and video in its inventory and had to borrow one from a far-off supplier whenever its use was required.
"They would provide us with the equipment, but we'd have to drive out to Pennsylvania to pick the piece of equipment up and then we would have it for only 30 days and have to return it," Klimakowski said.
With budget cuts, the department had to prioritize the types of equipment that can be purchased. The camera, which alone costs about $550 — the club also donated batteries and other accessories — was not something the department could buy right now.
"So when the opportunity came up, I thought it was a great idea. I know the detectives will truly appreciate it," Klimakowski said. "Law enforcement has taken a liking to these types of cameras. It's a neat piece of equipment to put out."
The chief also noted that the camera donation is something that could be used in a situation such as the recent Crestwood Village burglaries. The camera can be used in other law enforcement applications such as surveillance operations.
"This would be one piece of equipment we'd use if we had access to it," the chief said.
Police charged a 26-year-old Crestwood Village VI resident with the burglaries after arresting him in early September.