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‘Guardian Trailers’: The Backstory

Reporting by NBC16 KMTR informs the public about the Guardian Trailers program when it was rolled out in Eugene, Oregon.
Community confidence in the ability to work and shop safely in downtown Eugene, Oregon, was slipping last year and the Eugene Police Department (EPD) was determined to reduce incidents and bring people back. When they acquired three new camera trailers from Mobile Pro Systems to place around the city, they knew it was important to inform the public about the surveillance units beforehand and convey how the video surveillance would be used. Their goal was to be proactive, not reactive, in alleviating any typical concerns law-abiding citizens might have when they noticed the trailers for the first time. By naming the trailers as ‘Guardian Trailers’, the EPD set the tone and expectations for the anti-crime initiative.

“This is not designed to try and catch people doing things, this is not designed to try and sneak up on people. This is designed for people to see these trailers, feel comfortable knowing that the Eugene Police Department is paying attention,” said Eugene Police Department Chief, Chris Skinner.*

The EPD’s approach is an excellent example of how law enforcement can present the new tools they are using to create safer cities. Bringing the public on-board from the start played a significant role in anchoring public trust in mobile surveillance as an extension of the EPD’s commitment to protect its citizens. You can read about the positive feedback received from vendors and visitors a few short months later in our post ‘Guardian Trailers’ Increase Safety in Downtown Eugene, Oregon.
*Stephanie Rothman, “New ‘guardian trailers’ placed around downtown Eugene to help with public safety”, NBC16 KMTR, October 19, 2018.  See full online article here.