TPD praise RNC cameras after arrest; ACLU not a fan | News
Tampa, Florida - Tampa police say it's simple. The security cameras from the Republican National Convention -- utilized to keep the city safe -- are now coming in pretty handy, say officers.
It was all hands on deck for the police on Thursday morning when they heard a 63-year-old woman was viciously attacked in the Fort Brooke parking garage downtown. She was punched, fondled and groped.
It turns out her attacker, police say, was caught on camera. It was the very same cameras used during the RNC. The man was seen dumping evidence in a trash can, cops say: his own t-shirt, allegedly ripped by his latest victim. What 57-year-old Glen Mayfield, a convicted sex offender fugitive from Delaware, didn't know is that he was all over surveillance.
TPD got a screen grab from the RNC cameras, and that was it. Mayfield's picture was uploaded to a system called SmartCop, a sort-of Facebook for cops. All members of TPD got the photo, and officers from all over the city descended upon downtown.
TPD spokesperson Andrea Davis told 10 News, "These cameras, we've always said since the very beginning are going to help us fight crime, and this is proof that it can and will do that."
The RNC cameras, cops say, caught this criminal - and fast. When cops heard the woman was attacked, they looked up the footage. Sure enough, they found Mayfield near the scene, and within minutes they blasted his picture to everyone. Cops got their man in record time. The crime happened around 11 a.m. The arrest happened at roughly 5 p.m.
Davis said, "Without that screen capture, that screen grab from the video, there would not have been an arrest."
These cameras, by the way, are not monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week the way they were at the RNC. Now the footage is simply recorded and can be pulled up by an intelligence officer, a fact that doesn't sit well with the ACLU.
ACLU Attorney Yvette Acosta-MacMillan said, "It is such an intrusion on the privacy of people. There's no need for people on the sidewalks to be watched all the time."
The cameras have free maintenance for a year. After that, the mayor will decide what happens to the roughly 59 cameras.
For those who do not like the cameras, TPD says, consider this: if they didn't have them, they would have collected DNA from the victim, then had to wait five days minimum that it takes for FDLE to process it. That's time that Glen Mayfield, cops tell us, could have used to possibly strike again!
Davis told us, "We believe he would have found another victim. This video was critical. Actually, we would not have had the suspect in custody!"
Mayfield is being held without bond. He faces charges including attempted sexual battery, kidnapping and failing to register as a sex offender.
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