NBC25 Exclusive: Undercover camera fighting crime in Flint

vid-safe camera zooms in on a party store / Jason Dubois

The Flint Police Department is bracing for 20 possible layoffs if the police union doesn't agree to the mayor's concessions.

Meantime, two city councilmen issue a Full-Alert Crime Advisory for their wards.

NBC25 was given an exclusive interview with City Councilman Sheldon Neeley on how he's using new undercover technology to fight crime.

It TMs being called the eye in the sky, and it will soon fight crime in Flint without taxpayer dollars.

It's a proactive approach to help stopping crime, before it starts, said Pastor Jeffery Hawkins of Prince of Peace Baptist Church in Flint.

It TMs called the vid-safe camera, state-of-the-art technology that watches for suspicious activity, and it lives in this closet at Prince of Peace Baptist Church.

So that we can really help each other watch out for each other, said Pastor Hawkins.

Pastor Jeffrey Hawkins says his church is home base for the project because of his own experience with violent crime.

I had a son that was killed on the corner of Saginaw and Elmer, and then this past August, my other son, which was 26, was shot on Wolcott, said Pastor Hawkins.

Now Pastor Hawkins is working with Councilman Sheldon Nelley through a public/private partnership to fight crime.

With the reduction of public safety officers, through technology we can still have the same affect on our community, said Flint City Councilman Sheldon Neeley.

The vid-safe camera can be outfitted with a heat sensor to zoom in on a moving target or to the sound of a gun shot. It snaps a photo, records evidence, and can be accessed by police through the internet.

They probably can shoot up to a mile and get the color of a person TMs eye, said Councilman Neeley.

Can you see the clarity of my face? Right now I TMm located about 200 yards from where the camera even is, at a party store right across the street, that's the accuracy of the vid-safe camera, said NBC25 Reporter Jessica Harthorn.

The vid-safe camera will be fully operational the first week of December.

Councilman Neeley hopes a 100 more of them will be installed at crime hot spots around the city.

The vid-safe camera was paid for by a $2,800 Weed and Seed grant.