Occupy Providence Camp Unoccupied at Night? Police Use Infrared Technology to See How Many Protesters Stay Overnight in Tents

Posted by erik devaney

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

It may sound like something straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, but last week Providence police used cutting-edge infrared technology to spy on Occupy protesters in their tents.

For those who are unfamiliar with infrared technology, it allows for the detection of heat sources. This makes it possible for users of the technology to see at night (and to see through tents) by creating thermal images of people as well as animals and objects that give off heat.

“Infrared technology was used sometime last week in Burnside Park to see how many tents were occupied,” Lindsay Lague told New England Post in a recent interview. Lague is a public information officer who works for the office of Providence’s public safety commissioner, Steven Pare.

According to Lague, police discovered that of the 50-plus tents that typically populate Burnside Park, only seven tents were confirmed as being occupied.

Courtesy of Samuel Huron/Flickr.com

However, Lague clarified that Police “cannot be sure how many people were in each tent.”

Occupy Providence protesters have been camping in Burnside Park since October 15. Recently, city officials have taken steps toward evicting the protesters, citing that they are not allowed to stay overnight. According city ordinances, the park officially closes at 9 p.m.

And while Public Safety Commissioner Pare personally handed out eviction notices at the end of last month, Occupy Providence protesters show no signs of budging.

Earlier this week, Rhode Island’s junior U.S. senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, visited the Occupy Providence camp in an effort rally support for his bill that cracks down on high credit card interest rates. According to a report from the Associated Press, Whitehouse was impressed with the cleanliness and orderliness of the Occupy camp.

Despite Senator Whitehouse’s visit to the camp, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Public Safety Commissioner Pare are still determined to force the Occupy protesters – through legal action – out of Burnside Park.

“Public Safety officials have identified level 3 sex offenders among those occupying the park and the City of Providence has concern for the people staying at night due to this reason,” Lague told New England Post. “We are working to ensure the safety of the protesters. Permanent occupation of the park is unsafe and unwise.”

Related posts:

  1. City Serves Occupy Providence Protesters Eviction Notices as Freezing Temperatures Begin to Take Their Toll
  2. City Officials Postpone Legal Action Against Occupy Providence Protesters
  3. Occupy Protesters Getting Weather Tips From the Homeless
  4. Deadline for Occupy to Leave Sunday Afternoon
  5. Occupy Protesters Clash with Police in 2 Major US Cities; 50 Arrested in Atlanta, Nearly 100 Arrested in Oakland

Short URL: http://www.newenglandpost.com/?p=7572

Posted by erik devaney on Nov 9 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Occupy Providence Camp Unoccupied at Night? Police Use Infrared Technology to See How Many Protesters Stay Overnight in Tents”

  1. Tom Denman (expat Porstmouth)

    Given Senator Whitehouse’s tenure at The RI AG’s office I would think he would be sensetive to the civil rights issues flowing from this type of unannounced/uninvited search of law abiding citizen’s sleeping quarters regardless of all the possible IMAGINARY SAFETY ISSUES.
    Also, having studied physics at Umass, I am fairly confident in saying that with a combination of wet tents, cold weather, and zero-degree rated bags. The Providence Police that I recall, wouldn’t know an occupied tent using FLIR if it bit them in the ass.
    But worry not New England, we’re going to fix this country regardless of what we get thrown for insults to our intelligence and persons.
    God Bless The America I Want My Children To Inherit!
    Tom Denman
    Former Portsouth Resident

  2. Tom Denman (expat Porstmouth)

    Sorry For The Typo… That’s Portsmouth

  3. Tom Denman (expat Porstmouth)

    BTW - Anyone doubting the ineffectiveness of the FLIR under those conditions has but to look at the provided picture. In the mid ground you’ll see a silhouette of a human from head to toe. NOW, if you pan “back and to the left” as Jim Garrison once said. You will see a tent OBSCURING another human form. Only that person is only visable from the shoulders up. The cold wet tent is preventing body heat from radiating toward the camera’s IR CCD.
    Mmmmmm caveat emp tor when discussing technology with a criminal justice grad.
    God Bless The America I Want My Children To Inherit!
    Tom Denman

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