I've recently noticed flashing blue lights on the side of the roads as I drive to work in the dark at 4:30 a.m. At first, I thought that there was a police presence near Planet Fitness on Marginal Way in Portland. Then a second one popped up in the parking lot of Hannaford Supermarket on Forest Avenue. Now my curiosity was piqued.

Both locations had a small equipment trailer in their parking lots, with solar panels for power, a tall, telescoping mast that had three cameras mounted to it, a loudspeaker, and a blue strobing light at the top and on the trailer. Other than the blue strobing lights, it had no markings that would identify it as police property.

Jeff Parsons - Townsquare Media
Jeff Parsons - Townsquare Media
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So I did a little digging and quickly found a company in Brookline, New Hampshire, called Viper Security. They rent these units to retailers, and it's pretty high-tech.

According to Viper Security's website, not only do these trailers have standard cameras, but they also come with thermal image cameras, backup generators, intrusion detection to know when someone is messing around with it, and an internet connection to send motion alerts and other data to the trailer's mobile app.

These are likely being used by Hannaford and the area on Marginal Way to help theft prevention. Just seeing a camera like this may be enough for shoplifters to think twice, but even if they don't, this unit will be able to catch suspects on camera.

Pretty cool stuff!

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