On Thursday, the St. Petersburg Police Department unveiled its newest toy more than a year in the works, an armored surveillance truck.
According to police, the truck, or ASV, is designed to act as deterrence in those areas where a high incidence of criminal, narcotic or nuisance activity has taken place and will also be available for monitoring activities at large events within the city. The former Brinks armored truck was donated.
City Council members had been asking about its whereabouts since the truck was planned.
Police Chief Chuck Harmon said the truck would be deployed immediately. He said it would first, and briefly, be used in a busy commercial corridor so the public sees what it is. Then, he said, it will move into high-crime areas of the city.
"We will try to put in areas that are visible at night," Harmon said. "To be very overt, so people see it, so it's discouraging (crime)."
Council member Karl Nurse said he was excited to see the finished product. He said the truck will be a great and mobile crime prevention tool.
"I like the fact it will clearly discourage," Nurse said. "I wouldn’t want to do my business next to this."
The armored truck, according to Harmon, is capable of video surveillance in a 360-degree radius around the vehicle.