The Lancaster Police Department is asking business owners and private residents in the city to register their surveillance cameras, if they have them. They’re hoping that is they know where other cameras in the area are, it will help them gather evidence after a crime.
The camera registry program is voluntary and confidential. Police won’t watch them in live feeds, but will review recorded footage. Police say it’s been helpful to law enforcement in Philadelphia to know where other cameras are.
“You look at some of the major incidents nationwide that have happened, where camera footage from businesses, from private residents, even from cell phones, has been extremely helpful in solving cases,” says Lt. Todd Umstead of Lancaster Police.
Dharam Pal, the owner of the King Street Food Mart, says he will register his cameras and had already let police know about them. His store has a dozen security cameras, some of which shows the streets nearby.
“They might be a little bit scared, when they know there’s a security system up there,” says Pal.
“Sometimes just the movement of people before and after a crime helps us to narrow in on a suspect, or witness, or just a person of interest that was somehow involved in that crime,” says Umstead.
You can register your camera to help police at: http://lancasterpolice.com/crime-prevention/camera-registry/