West Hartford PD looking to create video sharing map using residents’ home security cameras to help when crime arises

Hartford

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The West Hartford Police Department is rolling out a new plan to create a network of security cameras throughout the town’s neighborhoods to help fight crime.

The department is trying to use residents’ home security cameras to map out cameras in the town. This way, if a crime occurs, officers can pinpoint who may have video. 

“We are really trying to take advantage of the fact that a lot of things are being captured by the multitude of cameras that surround us every day,” said Captain Michael Perruccio.

West Hartford has seen a spike in crime, specifically stolen cars, car break-ins, and stolen rims. To help fight this, they are looking to create a volunteer registry of people with security cameras.

“Something happens in your neighborhood, can we take a look and see what you have for video? At the time, you can decide, ‘yes, you can take a look at it or not.’ You can share it with us if you want.”

When people hear the word network, a network of security cameras they told News 8 they got a little antsy, thinking police would have access to the cameras 24/7. But Perruccio said that’s just not the case. 

He said the department is building a database — like a map — so if something were to happen on the street, they could pull up a street map and see which cameras have been registered. Then, they would call you, and you would send them the video (or not).

“We want to make it very clear to everybody; we are not going to remotely access anybody’s information or spy on anybody,” the captain said. “That is absolutely not what this is about. It is just to get an idea of who has a camera, so if something happens, we can call and say, ‘This happened in your neighborhood. We would like to see your security video. Would you be willing to share it?’”

The program seems to be getting positive feedback from residents. 

“If it is something where they [police] can’t just access the information, and I would have to download it and reach out to them, absolutely, I would certainly be willing to help,” said Krystal Rich. “We have neighborhood watches, so I think it would be an asset to be able to fight crime.”

“If there is a way for the police to stay informed and to alert me as a homeowner, absolutely,” said Nancy Nesbitt.

Interested residents can sign up by calling police at (860) 523-5203.

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