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WPB police are watching you

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - As streetscaping gives a makeover to Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, 10 new security cameras are expected to be installed for the West Palm Beach Police Department.

Dozens of cameras are already installed across the city of West Palm Beach. With every new camera, police say, they have more chances to gather evidence for cases in court and capture criminals in the act.

Since 2008, the department has gone from having 13 cameras to 36 across various parts of the city. "There are five cameras that don't move that are just stationary, but the rest of them are pan, tilt, zoom, spin 360, and some are in undisclosed locations but most of them are on poles down major thoroughfares," explained Benjamin Nelms, Geographical Information Systems Support Specialist with West Palm Beach Police.

The new cameras are expected to help police. "We are not out there to spy on people, but we're there give them another tool to use in their cases to help maybe put somebody away for a little bit longer, or make the case stick a little better," explained Nelms.

The cameras have offered evidence for court.

One camera captured a man running along rooftops. He matched the description of a man who had robbed a woman in broad daylight. "I work in dispatch, so I heard the call going out, and I jumped on the camera and started moving it around and basically in the background of the video you can see the guy running around the rooftop," Nelms explained.

In another case, Nelms spotted a man who appeared to be involved in illegal dumping. "Immediately saw the person dumping the trash illegally, and I ran downstairs and grabbed one of the sergeants and said, 'You need to see this', and he put it on the radio to his guys. And they took care of it," Nelms said.

More than 50 videos have been submitted for court cases in the last four years.

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