Many people are using surveillance cameras to keep their families and belongings safe. Ring even has a new neighborhood watch feature, notifying residents of crime and safety alerts as they’re reported from neighbors and local law enforcement.
Now some agencies are using residents’ security cameras to their benefit to help them solve crimes. Tell City Police Department has implemented a community camera program where people can register their surveillance cameras with the possibility of investigators using that footage to help solve a crime.
The Tell City Police Department says the goal of Our Community Camera Program is to help with investigations, but they are hoping it makes people think twice before committing a crime as the program starts picking up momentum.
The Our Community Camera Program allows businesses and residents to register security cameras with law enforcement.
“It kind of gives us a database of who has cameras in the area,” Tell City Chief of Police, Lieutenant Roger Smith. “If there is ever a crime in that area or around that area we could contact those individuals and get some footage from them that way.”
Tell City police say this database has already been used to solve crimes. One local resident and business owner says his surveillance video is being used to help solve an investigation.
“There was a fire a couple of blocks away from here a few weeks ago,” says Tell City resident of clocksmith, Jim Alexander. “Possibly it was suspicious in nature. Possibly one of my cameras or someone else’s camera caught an individual or individuals that might have been involved.”
Alexander says he registered his security cameras to be added to the police’s secure database to keep his shop and his home protected.
“If somebody breaks in, I want the police to be able to catch them,” says Alexander. He says helping police track down who’s responsible for a crime is a perk. “I’m very interested in the protection for both myself and for all the citizens in the community.”
“I think once the criminals know that if they are going to commit crimes in the area, there’s always a possibility that a resident next door or a block down could have cameras and be registered with us,” says Lt. Smith.
Tell City’s Assistant Chief of Police says their camera program is just a tool. He says their investigators will continuing knocking on doors, trying to get answers.
Some community members say as the database grows, they hope it makes criminals fear Perry County.
“Our places are protected and if you are going to rob somebody, pick somebody else because you will be caught,” says Alexander.
Tell City authorities tell 44News their camera program is for all of Perry County. The Owensboro Police Department also has a similar program.
To register a security camera in Perry County click here or call the Tell City Police Department.
To register a security camera in Owensboro, click here.