SACRAMENTO (AP) — Sacramento County authorities are asking residents and business owners to provide video-surveillance footage to law enforcement investigators.
Officials are encouraging property owners with surveillance cameras to sign up for the Sheriff’s Electronic Eye program, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.
The new voluntary registry would alert law enforcement agencies when there are any privately owned surveillance cameras in areas of interest to investigators.
Law enforcement officials would not get access to live surveillance feeds or a camera’s archived footage. They would have to physically obtain the footage with the owner’s consent.
“It is not Big Brother. I’m highly sensitive to the security and surveillance camera concerns that many folks have,” Sheriff Scott Jones said at a news conference Thursday. “It is completely voluntary.”
Investigators previously had to physically search an area looking for cameras or put out a plea to the public, Jones said. The new program could be especially helpful in child-abduction or missing-person cases, he said.
“This could help us really define the search for this person and find them much quicker,” Jones said.
Participants in the surveillance program will provide their names, contact information, addresses and information about their cameras. They get a sticker to put on their property, which help deter potential criminals, he said.
Jones has been researching the idea of a camera registry for years, and he said he has received positive feedback from community and business groups.
The sheriff also announced a new partnership with neighborhood networking service Nextdoor.com, which will allow officials to communicate with particular neighborhoods or disseminate public safety information.