LANSING, MI (WLNS) – When crimes happen, sometimes there are no witnesses, but a security camera hiding in plain sight can have all the answers.
Through a new effort called S.C.R.A.M., the Lansing Police Department is hoping to fight crime with help from the community.
S.C.R.A.M. stands for security camera, registry and mapping.
The goal is to promote public safety and help to stop crime through a collaborative effort between the police and the public.
The Lansing Police Department is all about community policing and this is just one more initiative that continues that.
Here’s how it works: businesses and residents can register their security cameras with the Lansing Police Department, simply by filling out a form online and after just a few clicks, police will be able to know which residences and businesses have working cameras, how many they have and where they’re positioned.
Those who would like to sign up can also download the registration sheet and mail it in.
“We’d really like to build a list of private residences and businesses that we can call upon,” LPD Captain Darin Southworth said. “And times where there’s a crime committed near a registered camera, where we can look at some surveillance video to see if we can further, get a little closer to the truth in our pursuit of justice.”
Signing up for this could potentially capture a crime on tape or record any suspicious activity.
“We can call from the field and say ‘Hey, a robbery just occurred right down the street from you could we stop in and look at your cameras or would you be willing to preserve a period of time for us,” Capt. Southworth said.
It’s important to know that registering your camera only lets police know where your camera is located.
It does not however, allow the police department to monitor your cameras at all.
“This isn’t a big brother is watching program,” Capt. Southworth said. “There is no ability for us to tap into a security camera device, we can’t lawfully do that without a person’s permission so this is no veiled attempt to do any of that, this is a voluntary program to register and it is a voluntary participation on any given moment that we might contact someone that is registered to participate any further.”
Once you signed up, there’s no obligation to continue.
Capt. Southworth said the police department wants every corner of the city to participate if residents and businesses want to.
He said by signing up, you can help fight crime indirectly with technology. Allowing officers to immediately identify where private security cameras are located and positioned, which saves them time and resources.
It could also help investigate runaway and missing person cases.
“Efficiency, I think is the key,” Capt. Southworth said. “Citizens contributing to that efficiency makes our community safer as a whole.”
There is no cost to enroll. There is also no monetary reward if video is used in any particular situation.
Click here to register.