Northeast Times

SafeCams help fight crime

The Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment star­ted its Sa­fe­Cam pro­gram about two years ago and it is still one of the new­est crime-pre­ven­tion and in­vest­ig­at­ive tools that the de­part­ment has.

Res­id­ents and busi­ness own­ers who have sur­veil­lance cam­er­as or are look­ing to pur­chase cam­er­as can com­plete three easy steps to re­gister their cam­er­as with Sa­fe­Cam. In turn, po­lice will be able to no­ti­fy you if a crime hap­pens in your area and your cam­er­as may help the in­vest­ig­a­tion.

Re­gis­ter­ing is the first step and takes about 10 minutes to com­plete. Cam­era own­ers will provide their loc­a­tion and oth­er ba­sic in­form­a­tion. There is no cost to re­gister. Sa­fe­Cam re­gis­tra­tion is con­fid­en­tial.

The second step is veri­fic­a­tion. A mem­ber of the Po­lice De­part­ment will con­tact the cam­era own­er to veri­fy the in­form­a­tion and to provide a Sa­fe­Cam decal that may be dis­played in a win­dow of the home or busi­ness.

The fi­nal step may or may not hap­pen. In the event of a crime in the vi­cin­ity of a cam­era, po­lice may re­quest a copy of the video that was cap­tured by the cam­era to as­sist in the in­vest­ig­a­tion.

Re­gis­ter­ing cam­er­as helps de­ter crime in a neigh­bor­hood and sup­ports the po­lice in crime pre­ven­tion.

From Janu­ary 1 through June 12, Sa­fe­Cam helped po­lice solve 85 crimes and res­ul­ted in 37 ar­rests, in­clud­ing that of a man who bru­tally beat and at­temp­ted to rape a Rhawn­hurst wo­man after break­ing in­to her res­id­ence on April 11. The man then fled the scene.

Thanks to Sa­fe­Cam, in­vest­ig­at­ors found sur­veil­lance video of the sus­pect and re­leased it pub­licly five days after the in­cid­ent. Po­lice re­ceived nu­mer­ous tips and with­in one day had iden­ti­fied and ar­res­ted the al­leged at­tack­er.

So far, about 360 private cam­er­as are re­gistered with the Sa­fe­Cam pro­gram. To re­gister, vis­it www.philly­po­lice.com and click the Sa­fe­Cam link on the right side of the homepage, or go dir­ectly to sa­fe­cam.philly­po­lice.com. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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