The Washington Police Department encourages residents and businesses to partner with them in their new Community Camera Program.
With increased popularity of video surveillance systems at homes and businesses there is a possibility a system has captured information that may help solve a crime.
“Often times a crime occurs nearby and residents or businesses may not be aware that their video system recorded the act or potential suspects,” explained Chief of Police Jim Lester. “This information could be vital in identifying a suspect and ultimately keeping our community safer”.
As holiday shopping and unmonitored package deliveries begin, the Police Department is asking residents and businesses to register their privately-owned surveillance systems.
Having video systems registered with the Police Department, investigators can quickly identify nearby cameras that may have captured the criminal activity. If necessary, owners may be requested to allow investigators to view their camera footage in order to assist in the investigation.
The goal of the Washington Community Camera Program is to deter crime and promote public safety through collaboration between the Police Department and the community.
Officers will not have remote access or be able to access live-feeds of any registered cameras. “This is strictly a voluntary program, and no one is obligated to release any recordings,” explained Washington Police Investigator Ron See. “We will only contact the system owners if a crime is reported in their area and we will ask to review their footage at that time.”
Information provided regarding the camera systems will be for official use only and personal information will remain confidential.
Washington residents and businesses can register their systems on the City’s website or by following this link: https://washingtoniowa.gov/washington-community-camera-program-registration/