RICHMOND (KCBS) – The City of Richmond has been hiring retired local cops to help the police department solve crimes.

Many of the former officers spend the day monitoring real-time closed circuit TV cameras scattered across high crime areas throughout the city.

Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus said they’re able to move the cameras around, follow suspects and help officers on the street respond to crime.

“We had a group of individuals that were committing a pretty serious assault in the middle of the street,” Magnus said. “Of course, when they heard the police arriving, they all took off. The cameras were able to track where they were headed and what they looked like and we were able to make arrests of everybody who was involved in that.”

Magnus said cases like this show the program has been a huge success.

“The goal is not to create some sort of Orwellian-brother situation, but rather to be looking at public places that have been hot spots for crime, or where people have felt unsafe, and to give them an added measure of safety and security,” he said.

Magnus said that, because many are retired Richmond officers, they know what they’re looking at and what’s going on in different areas.

The officers are paid hourly and don’t receive benefits, but have been a huge benefit for the Richmond Police Department.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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