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. ••