The Kennesaw Police Department is looking for more eyes to help fight crime.
The department on Monday launched the Kennesaw Community Watch program that will feature two registries for residents and business owners. Police say citizens and business owners can visit the city’s website and register their camera and alarm systems with location and contact information.
Officer Scott Luther, a Kennesaw police spokesman, said the agency can use that info to more quickly investigate a crime. Police would contact residents and ask if they can look at the cameras “to see if there’s anything suspicious” on it, Luther said.
For example, if police are investigating a case of suspects breaking into vehicles, Luther said officers can use the list to contact residents who have cameras nearby and ask if they can review video to identify perpetrators. The process now is time consuming, as police have to go door-to-door in a neighborhood looking for cameras, he said.
“This will definitely cut that time down a lot,” Luther said of the registry. “We hope that everybody who has cameras will register them to give us a little bit of an extra investigative tool.”
He stressed that the department will not have access to camera feeds, and will only be able to see them if the owner of the camera gives permission.
The alarm system registration would give police an updated list of homes and businesses that have this extra layer of protection.
Luther said Kennesaw police have been working on implementing the program for several months.
Acworth police spokeswoman Corporal Youlanda McIntosh said they have more than 100 camera systems registered since launching its program over a year ago. Smyrna police spokesman Sgt. Louis Defense said his department hopes to announce the details of its program within the next week.
Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said its initiative, called SMILE, started in January and has 251 locations registered. Its map, available only to a select number of police personnel, shows locations and corresponding contact names for the cameras that could be useful in capturing clues and evidence. McPhilamy said the program has been used to help find missing children and solve crimes.
“We believe this to be the modern way residents and business owners can and hopefully will partner with their local law enforcement agency,” McPhilamy said.