Police Department Launches Voluntary Surveillance Camera Registration Database

In Hagerstown, Md., police are asking for residents’ consent to view security camera footage in the event of a crime or other incident for investigative purposes.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The police department here has launched an online database that will allow residents to register their personal video surveillance cameras, giving law enforcement the consent to review footage in the event of a crime or other incident.

“Policing is a partnership,” Detective Sergeant Johnny Murray tells WDVM-TV. “Obviously the city can’t have a camera everywhere, in every neighborhood. So it’s a partnership between the police department and the citizens of Hagerstown so we can expand that net and cover more of the city.”

In the past, businesses like Burkett’s Deli have assisted police with their video surveillance and think spreading the word is a great idea.

“We have cameras on the outside, all around the building, and they’ll [police] come in and say, ‘hey can we look at your cameras?'” Charles Burkett of Burkett’s Deli says, “We’ve caught a couple of people.”

The information will only be shared with law enforcement and will not be made available to the public. Police want to stress, they do not have access to the surveillance camera footage at any given time.

“Based on what we’ve seen with the city’s cameras, it’s expanding that net of coverage throughout the city,” Detective Sergeant Murray says, “If we have eyes in places where we are not, then it’s going to aid us in investigation.”

Residents can add their security cameras to the database by filling out a registration form on the city’s website. There is no cost and participation is entirely voluntary.

“I’m all in for cleaning up the area and cleaning up Hagerstown,” Burkett says, “Anything we can do to help.”

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