FEATURE Crime-Stopping Technology Earns Silent Witness a Spot on Donahue after Savannah Arrest.
The system's crime-fighting features have won it coverage on NBC-TV's Donahue show, to be aired on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
On Dec. 5, 1994, at 8:15 a.m. an armed man boarded a school bus in the Savannah, Ga., area. The female bus driver had just parked and left the bus after dropping off students. The suspect threatened the returning driver with a gun, hijacked the bus and robbed the driver. Eventually he left the bus in front of a liquor store and disappeared.
What the suspect did not know was that his actions had been observed and tape-recorded by the Silent Witness video-camera system. Like many other schools, the Savannah-Chatham County district had installed Silent Witness to create a safe environment in its buses by eliminating assaults, vandalism, robbery and other crimes.
After police played a brief segment of the tape on local television, the suspect was arrested the following day. Through the tape, he was identified as a suspect in two rapes and kidnappings a couple of days earlier.
According to the Chatham County police Maj. Billy Freeman, the Silent Witness system was his "downfall." The video quality was so good that "the scars on his face gave him away," Freeman said.
Added Louis Waldour, district transportation director: "The Silent Witness system led to the rapid apprehension of the suspect." The suspect was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in the incident, as well as with two counts each of rape and kidnapping, armed robbery and carjacking from other incidents.
As word of the arrest spread, Phil Donahue selected the story for a show and interviewed the bus driver, school superintendent and Silent Witness executive Doug Dyment. "Look at the quality of that picture," Donahue declared while examining a live camera. Dyment told the audience his technology has earned high marks for its ability to deter crime and liability claims.
Specially designed Silent Witness enclosures containing video cameras the size of a business card have been mounted in over 35,000 buses in all 50 states. When the buses are started, the red light on the enclosure reassures passengers that potential criminal activity is being monitored, recorded and deterred ... by their witness.
Silent Witness is a publicly traded company on the Vancouver Stock Exchange under the symbol SWT, (VSE:SWT).
CONTACT: Crime Stopping Technology
Pearl Schellenberg, 604/574-1526
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|Date:||Jan 26, 1995|
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