LIBERTY – The Liberty Police Department is joining with other departments including Smithville in launching a voluntary, private security camera registry program that could play a vital role in solving crimes in Liberty, said Capt. Andy Hedrick, the department’s public information officer.
This registry will enable residents and business owners to “virtually” partner with the police department by registering their private security cameras through a secure online portal on the City of Liberty website.
“The prevalence of cameras on buildings and with the new Ring system might be a chance to help us be more efficient,” Hedrick said. “There might be leads to suspects. We know it’s a good idea with videos and surveillance in neighborhoods.”
In the event of criminal activity near a neighborhood or business, patrol officers and investigators can check the security camera registry to see if there are registered cameras in the area. Police can then reach out to security camera registrants and ask for their help to review the video footage to seek leads and help solve crimes.
“The goal of this program is to fight crime and promote public safety through teamwork with our community,” said Chief James Simpson. “The increased use of quality video camera surveillance equipment by residents and business owners to help protect their private property can serve as a force multiplier to help police solve crimes. Video footage of a suspect, a getaway car, or a direction of travel, is obviously very helpful in solving crimes. The security camera registry will help police save time in the pursuit of suspects and preservation of evidence.”
Participation in the security camera registry program is completely voluntary.
“We are not asking for any passwords or any other private data,” Hedrick said. “We believe that details such as car descriptions will be enhanced if we have footage to look at. The Liberty Police Department will only access camera footage after an incident has occurred and only with the permission of the camera owner. The police will not be able to access the camera remotely or in real time.”
Along with possible aid in crimes, video footage can help with other issues too. Hedrick said the camera footage may help with possible missing persons such as senior citizens or children who walk away from their residences.
“It’s a way for the public to use the tools they have invested in,” Hedrick said. “Businesses can help too.”
Camera owners may leave the registry at any time. To learn more or to register for the Liberty Police Department’s security camera registry program, go to www.libertymissouri.gov/LookoutForLiberty.