Police Department launches camera action network

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 23, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

The Salisbury Police Department hopes residents with home surveillance cameras can add to the tools they employ to fight crime as they launch a newly created database — the Salisbury Camera Action Network (SCAN).

Residents who have camera systems like Ring or Nest only have to fill out an application. The voluntary application, which is not public, allows authorized police officials to know which residents have camera systems. Officers would not be able to have access to the camera.

The program is also open to businesses.

The application includes the type of camera system, where the cameras are located and which direction they face. If a break-in or other crime occurs in the area police could contact the resident, ask them to check the cameras that may assist them in the investigation. Police would get a copy of any footage that the cameras may have been captured.

“We are asking them for their help to give us some extra options or tools,” said Lt. Greg Beam.

Beam attended a conference where he learned about other law enforcement agencies that have instituted a similar database program like Norfolk Police Department in Virginia, which has a Virtual Neighborhood Watch and the Philadelphia Police Department has its SafCam program.

This type of technology has already helped the police department, Beam said.

He said there have been some recent incidents that police have been able to use camera systems to identify suspects.

This is an ongoing program where residents and businesses can register at any time. So far, there have been half a dozen residents who’ve registered for the program. Contact with residents, if a crime occurred in that area, would be via phone or email.

Beam said what the program doesn’t allow is citizens to act as agents of the department.

To register your camera visit www.salisburync.gov/scan and fill out a form.