Longmont Police Hope More Residents Register Security Cameras
About 85 residents have registered their security cameras with Longmont Public Safety since it first introduced the program last November .
Longmont police Deputy Chief Jeff Satur hopes that number will keep going up.
“We know there are a lot more people in our community that probably have cameras available,” Satur said.
The department’s crime and data analyst Matthew Lee thought of the idea after reading about East Coast police departments starting similar programs. When six vehicles and a dumpster were set on fire in an arson spree in June 2017, Lee saw investigators spending hours going through neighborhoods and searching for homeowners with security cameras.
The program registers the location of security cameras and allows police personnel to pull up the registry on a map, including on a smartphone app. The locations are linked to the owner’s information, so if an officer wanted video from a certain street, he or she could contact the people who had registered their cameras in that area. If any residents see anything suspicious on their footage, they could then send that along to the police.
Lee noted that the program is voluntary, and no one has access to a live feed of the security cameras or the owner’s individual systems.
So far, the department has used the program quite often for a variety of cases, Lee said, including burglaries, car break-ins and vehicle thefts. It not only gives officers images of possible suspects, but also more concrete time frames for crimes that often happen overnight
“It was creative and it’s a timesaver,” Satur said. “It’s useful in helping us identify leads, identify vehicles and identify individuals.”
When a possible suspect or suspect vehicle is found on security footage, Lee said a shot of that is sent throughout the department to see if anyone recognizes the person or vehicle. If it’s someone native to Longmont, it’s likely an officer will recognize them.
Brighten police also have a similar program, Lee said, and others may be looking into it.
Residents who are interested in registering their security cameras can do so on the department’s page on longmontcolorado.gov. For more information, call 303-774-4319.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, email@example.com