Using residential surveillance cameras to help solve crimes

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O’FALLON, IL (KPLR) – Cracking down on crime using your home or business surveillance cameras, it’s a new idea the O’Fallon Illinois Police Department is hoping will catch on.  As the price of home surveillance cameras have come down, more of them are being used by residents. The O’Fallon, Illinois PD is now asking people to register their cameras to let police know there, if needed.

Capt. Kirk Brueggeman of the O’Fallon Police Department says, “it’s an extra set of eyes and ears in community because we can’t be everywhere at every time.”  If police know a residence has a camera that points to the street they can ask the residents to voluntarily check their camera system.  Then they can see if they have anything that would help their investigation.  Brueggeman says, “it’s not the holy grail of law enforcement but it is another tool in our arsenal for finding people and solving crimes.  O’Fallon has over 200 cameras online on public buildings, public areas and in parks.  However, help from businesses like local gym C1Fit has already paid dividends in the past.  Chris Gilbert is the owner of C1Fit gym, “if it’s a way to help the police department in my town then I’m all for it!”  Brueggeman tells me they could only find a few departments nationwide that were using a camera registration system and none that he was aware of in the St. Louis area.  “The more cameras out there the better because it keeps people honest.”  This is a volunteer program that is confidential and private. Only police know you have a camera. Brueggeman says, “within a half hour of asking the public on Facebook last night we had different residents and businesses register their cameras with our program so it’s starting to work.”

Anyone interested in registering their home or business security cameras can do so by visiting the O’Fallon Police Department’s Facebook page.