After several weeks of testing, the Hall County Sheriff's Office has launched its Citizens' Watch Surveillance Camera Program
According to a posting on the department's Facebook page, the idea is "simple and valuable."
Many home and business owners have surveillance camera systems these days. Law enforcement often use these images to help solve crimes at those homes and businesses. But, they can also be used to help investigators get to the bottom of crimes in adjacent homes and businesses.
For instance, let’s say a crime occurs at House A but house A doesn’t have surveillance cameras. However, House C, down the street, has a camera system that has captured images of the suspect. The problem for investigators is that determining where the nearby surveillance cameras are actually located involves a lot of time-consuming legwork.
According to the sheriff's department, Citizens' Watch is a secure program that allows surveillance camera system owners to report their system to the Sheriff’s Office through a secure website. The information is mapped for law enforcement, allowing for quick and easy reference when deputies are seeking surveillance images in an area where a crime was committed.
Part of the posting emphasizes that officers would not have access to security cameras and any images they capture without the permission of the owners.
"It simply lets us know you have a camera system. If a crime happens in your area, a deputy could check the map and then reach out to you and ask to look at the footage," according to part of the posting.
To participate, in the program, visit: https://www.hallcounty.org/1005/Surveillance-Camera-Program