Police in the San Francisco Bay Area are asking homeowners to register their home surveillance cameras with local departments, thinking these videos could be of use for future investigations.
According to KPIX-TV, homeowners and others who have private surveillance systems can choose to register them with local police departments if they wish to provide their footage to police if a crime were to happen in their area. The news station reported that several police stations have begun collecting information voluntarily about who has cameras within the last year.
“Well it is really helpful for us in the aftermath of a crime that has occurred,” Geneva Bosques with the Fremont Police Department, which registered 285 private cameras so far, told KPIX. “We can map them out, and then we can try to determine whether any of these cameras might help us in our investigation."
Watch KPIX's report:
Those concerned about any possible Big Brother implications of programs collecting surveillance camera locations, should not be, Bosques told the news station. She said that because since the camera owners participate voluntarily, privacy issues have not come up as a problem.
Bay Area police departments are not the only ones looking to enhance their relationship with the owners of private security cameras. Earlier this year, the Grand Rapids Press reported that police in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were being allowed to tap into private feeds of some businesses in real time.
“This is the same technology that helped catch the Boston Marathon bombers,” Jack Stewart, emergency management coordinator in Kent County, told the newspaper. “This is not day-to-day monitoring. It’s just in the event of an emergency. There would have to be an event serious enough to trigger us to monitor the cameras.”