Crime Tracker: Police take advantage of home cameras to solve cases

Crime Tracker

Irondequoit, N.Y. (WROC) — Investigators with the Irondequoit Police Department have a key tool at their disposal – security cameras.

Irondequoit Police Chief Alan Laird discussed how his department is collaborating with community members Thursday in our Crime Tracker report.

“The S.M.A.R.T. Camera Project has been in place about three to four years now,” said Chief Laird.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Surveillance Mapping and Recording Technology. Chief Laird said as more homeowners and businesses install surveillance systems with camera recording options it creates an opportunity for collaboration. “It’s not just about assisting us. It’s about being a good neighbor. Helping their neighbor who was the unfortunate victim of a crime.”

Here’s how it works. People sign up and register their cameras with the police department. Police don’t have access to your camera. After an incident, investigators contact the homeowner or business and ask them to review their video. If they capture something, police make a copy.

“We utilize it all the time,” Chief Laird said of the S.M.A.R.T. Camera Project.

One recent example, a crash on Empire Boulevard in April. A homeowner’s camera footage helped investigators determine what caused the crash. Chief Laird said having a vast network of cameras available for access can be the difference-maker in solving a case. “We have several hundred signed up right now. Obviously, we’d like that number to be in the thousands.”

Chief Laird says this project helps build the police/community relationship and it’s easy to get signed up.
Go online to the Police Department tab at Irondequoit.org and use the link to submit your camera, or just stop by the Police Department to register.

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