Friday, January 10, 2020

Wichita’s High Tech Solution to Preventing Copper Theft

The City of Wichita, Kansas had a problem with copper being taken from street poles and underground conduits in city-owned facilities and public parks, according to GovTech Biz. City leaders turned to an Internet-of-Things device to remedy the situation: sensors in the poles for around $30 per site. It’s an idea that other markets might consider as more small cell infrastructure is installed on poles.

“People would come in in the middle of the night, cut the main service lines where the power companies would drop off the main connection point, and then…they’d either clip the other lines and then pull by hand, or they’d hook up a Jeep or truck winch and pull the copper by force,” Smart City Coordinator Michael Barnett said. Barnett told GovTech Biz, the level of theft around Wichita would increase in proportion to tariffs on copper and the subsequent rise in its price. He said the larceny cost the city over $100,000 in damages in 2018. Continue Reading

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