Police facing new threat posed by home surveillance cameras
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Law enforcement officers are facing new dangers as home surveillance cameras rise in popularity.
The realization comes after two FBI agents were gunned down by a suspect through his front door over the weekend. Authorities are investigating how the suspect may have used a doorbell camera to monitor the movements of the officers as they walked up with a search warrant for child pornography.
That's a risk police nationwide now have to consider. The cameras that people used to protect their homes from criminals, are now being used by criminals to shield their homes from law enforcement.
Some doorbell cameras have motion sensors that notify the owner when anyone passes up to 100 feet away, which leaves police in a vulnerable position. Home surveillance cameras have become more affordable over the years, causing a spike in accessibility.
“You take a military assault rifle and you add to that a surveillance system that allows (the suspect) to identify where officers are as they approach the house — you are a sitting duck,” said Ed Davis, Boston Police Commissioner from 2013 to 2016.
It is still unknown how the suspect was up waiting for FBI agents to approach his home before dawn, but a doorbell camera could be a valid explanation.
“A child exploitation suspect, he is going to be on his toes all day long — he doesn't want to get caught because he is going away for a long time,” said New York City Detective Robert Garland.
To combat this threat, police are exploring different options of executing search warrants, an already dangerous task. The FBI is currently working on a comprehensive report on the attack of those agents, for further review and to prevent future tragedies from occurring.