Shaw Neighborhood group launches a pilot private camera registration initiative to help fight crime

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ST. LOUIS - Neighbors helping neighbors fight crime. Some people living in the Shaw Neighborhood are finding high-tech ways using private cameras to keep each other safe.

Dan Powell, president of the Shaw Neighborhood Ownership Model is the brainchild behind the private camera ownership initiative that encourages residents who have surveillance cameras to voluntarily register their technology on to an online portal.

It’s a new idea that Powell believes no other neighborhood currently has.

“It’s a one-stop spot to go to,” explained Powell, “so neighbors can actually find out if something happens. Say they had a car broken into, or someone tried to break into their house, they can come to our website and see what blocks are being covered and we can say, ‘Hey this block has camera coverage,’ and we can be the middle man for whoever has the camera and say, ‘We are looking for this footage around these times can you provide it?’”

Powell’s neighbors, some of whom are already registered on the site told Fox 2/News 11 that the idea is another layer of security that gives them a peace of mind and added protection.

“Obviously this is an investment,” said Ray Prop who moved into the neighborhood from the Central West End three months ago. “It’s better to take prevention versus being sad after the fact if something happens.”

Neighbors said the initiative also bypasses red tape and puts zero burdens on taxpayers.

“You don’t need funding, it’s already in place,” said Dimitri who did not provide us with a last name. “Safety is very important for the city in general and people are finally moving back to the city because they feel safer.”

Fox 2/News 11 reached out to the St. Louis City Police Department about their take on the idea. We were told, camera registrations can not only be helpful during area canvasses and follow-up investigations, but the system could also help streamline and expedite the investigation process.

The registration initiative is currently available to residents living in the Shaw Neighborhood, only. But Powell said that if the idea is successful and shows positive results, he will help other surrounding communities create a similar model.

The link to register private cameras can be found on the Shaw Neighborhood portal.

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