Courts & Crime

In Belleville, police send 'The Exterminator' after drug-dealers

Is there a suspected drug house in your neighborhood? Are there groups of people standing on street corners making trouble?

Then you might see a big, armored truck parked on your street for a while.

The Exterminator, a 12,000-pound armored truck fitted with video cameras and digital recorders that stream live video directly to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and to the SmartPhones of sheriff's deputies and investigators, has been added to the sheriff's arsenal in an effort to curb crime in metro-east neighborhoods.

The Exterminator is not an undercover vehicle. It's designed to be highly visible," said St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus. "It sends a message. We will not tolerate drug trafficking, littered lawns, loud noise and other neighborhood nuisances. If you can't live peacefully with your neighbors we will send The Exerminator to your neighborhood."

The armored truck, known as a Nuisance Property Surveillance Vehicle, was donated to the sheriff's department by Garda Cash Logistics through it's Law Enforcement Partnership program. Garda is one of the nation's largest armored car companies.

With the donated time and supplies from Honeywell, Interface Security Systems, Signs 'N Such and Kelso Auto Body, the donated armored truck has been revamped into a crime-fighting tool.

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