Armored Truck Nicknamed Armadillo is Unique Anti-Crime Tool in Peoria, Ill.
Posted Aug 18, 2009 5:34 PM CST
By Martha Neil
It isn't the surveillance cameras so much as the shame factor that makes an armored truck affectionately termed the Armadillo one of the most effective crime-fighting tools in the Peoria, Ill., town arsenal, officials say.
When drug dealing or another household nuisance becomes too much for neighbors to endure, police park the virtually indestructible vehicle on the public street in front of the offending property and train the cameras on it. But surveillance footage is seldom reviewed, reports the Wall Street Journal. The stigma of having the Armadillo parked in front is usually enough to encourage offenders to resolve the situation swiftly.
"The ugliness of the Armadillo is what makes it unique," explains Jim Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police. "A police car is not a particular stigma, but if people see that thing in front of your house, they know something bad is going on in there."