Coming soon to a St. Petersburg neighborhood near you: an armored truck that you cannot miss and that cannot miss you, at least not with the four cameras mounted behind bullet-resistant glass, pointed in all four directions.
The exterior is wrapped in an industrial design featuring very large eyeballs and the words "St. Petersburg Police," all in the department's green and gold colors.
"This is exactly what I wanted," city council member Karl Nurse declared, after watching Major Jorges Sotolongo pull up the cameras images on an iPad, "It's high profile enough you put it in a drug location or a prostitution location and it will discourage the customers from coming, they'll just keep moving."
"That is what the police department has in mind," Chief Chuck Harmon told a city council committee Thursday, assuring council members the privacy of law-abiding citizens has been considered.
"The real positive for me is the visibility of the thing...This is meant to be a broad, right in your face: Don't do what you're doing," Harmon said. "We didn't want this thing parked in somebody's front yard thinking that we're shooting into someone's bedroom window...It's really meant look to the exterior activity going on around buildings, not into buildings..."