Some police agencies asking residents to register home security cameras

home-security-camera

NEW BRAUNFELS (KXAN) – The New Braunfels Police Department is trying to fight crime in a new way.

The department recently launched a voluntary surveillance camera registration program. Police are asking residents and businesses to register their exterior surveillance cameras with the department if they’re comfortable to do so.

“We are not monitoring those camera feeds.  We are not installing those cameras in the first place,” said David Ferguson with the New Braunfels police department “We are simply wanting to know where they are so that if we had a crime in the area we could then know we have “X” number of cameras to go check out,”

Ferguson says they’ve had a lot of success solving crimes by placing photos and videos captured by surveillance systems on the NBPD Facebook page. In 2013, a homeowner’s security camera helped nab a murder suspect. The video put the suspect, who was the victim’s brother, in the area. “A homeowners home surveillance system was able to give us the evidence that we needed in order to put him behind bars,” explained Ferguson.

Ferguson said once a resident or business registers, the department will have an accessible database of who has cameras which allows an investigator to contact them and ask for permission to look at the video in case a crime occurs in the camera’s vicinity.

Police hopes this will help them catch criminals quicker and also find lost children, elderly and disabled people. The department emphasizes that this is voluntary only and will only apply to New Braunfels residents and businesses.

Homeowner James Smith says his security camera outside his house gives him peace of mind, but he’s not too sure about registering it. “I don’t think it’s necessary,” said Smith.

This is a trend smaller police departments are behind to help with investigations. Earlier this year, WOAI in San Antonio reported that Terrell Hills police started a similar program.

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