BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City police are trying to expand their eyes on the streets. They’ve started a new program encouraging business owners and homeowners to register their surveillance cameras with the city.
That way, if a crime is committed in the area, police will know who might have potential evidence.
Meghan McCorkell explains how the program will work.
Homeowners and business owners with private security cameras can now sign up online for the voluntary program.
You see them on businesses and homes across the city–an extra set of eyes always watching. Now city officials are going door-to-door asking people with private security cameras to sign up to help in the fight against crime.
“We want to get closer with our community. We want to work with our businesses. We want to attack the crime that plagues some of our neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore City Police Department.
The CitiWatch Community Partnership is a free, voluntary program where people can register their cameras online, providing contact information, location of their camera, the type of camera and the recording retention time.
When a crime is committed, police will be able to tell who in the area has a camera that may have caught footage that can identify a suspect.
“You will only be contacted if the police believe your camera can help solve a crime,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
It was surveillance video inside a Waverly carryout that led to a major break in a 2011 murder case.
Halloween night three years ago, 52-year-old Freddie Jones Jr. was gunned down inside Yau Brothers Carryout as he waited for food. The killer, 18-year-old Markell Jones, was turned in by his own family members that saw the surveillance video on TV. He’s now serving 50 years behind bars.
City officials hope quick access to video like that could take criminals off the streets more quickly and provide the evidence needed to put them in jail.
The program does not give police remote access or an up-link to your camera, it merely lets them know that a camera exists in that location.
For information on how to sign your private security camera up for the CitiWatch Community Partnership, click here.
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