The Police Department for the City of Middletown, Ohio has just launched its security camera registration program. This program is designed to allow people to register their personal or business security cameras with the Middletown Police Department. As a result, the police department will have a record of your security camera, in addition to all the others registered.
But what does this mean? What does this do for you and your community? Well, should you register your cameras then they will be just another resource that the police department can use to help catch criminals. According to the City of Middletown’s website, “This data will be used as a tool in police investigations of crimes that have happened in your neighborhood that you may not have known about.”
So basically, if you register your security cameras and a crime takes place in your neighborhood, the police will know that there’s the potential that your cameras caught something. The police will then contact you and ask to view your camera footage to find any possible evidence that could help solve the crime. And if you’re worried about the police department having this information don’t be. It’s completely voluntary. Registering your camera is 100% voluntary and even if you do register, you don’t have to release your footage if you don’t want to.
This kind of program is already being implemented in cities across the United States, even in some of the major cities. Philadelphia implemented this same program four years ago. Nearly 1,000 residents have registered their security cameras, which has provided the police department with an additional 3,300 exterior cameras and 2,800 interior cameras that can be used to help solve crimes. The program in Philadelphia also offers businesses reimbursement to businesses worth half the price of installation up to $3,000.
Another major city offering this type of program is Chicago. The Windy City has implemented the CHICAGO Plan, which stands for Citizens Helping Identify Criminal And Gang Offenses. The CHICAGO Plan asks business owners throughout the city to register their privately owned closed circuit security camera systems in order to assist the Chicago Police Department in cracking down on criminals.
If you want to register your camera with the Middletown Police Department then you can follow the link here.
If you’re wondering how this could help your city then take this example. Back in 2012, an 87-year-old Monroe, Ohio woman was murdered. She was found in the trunk of her own car in Middletown. During the investigation, a detective for the Monroe Police Department came into our office building asking to see video footage from our security cameras because he believed the murderer could have walked through our parking lot.
Unfortunately, the footage the detective wanted to see was from 6 months ago. We have 32 HD security cameras and keeping that much footage is impossible for all but the largest of companies that have the ability to house their own servers with hundreds of terabytes of storage space. However, if that detective had a database that could have alerted him to our cameras sooner, we might have been able to have helped him.
Like I said, the program is completely voluntary and even if you do sign up you don’t have to release footage if you don’t want to. There seem to be no negative repercussions for registering your cameras so if you want to help make your city a little safer then consider registering your security cameras with the Middletown Police Department.