If you have video surveillance as a part of your security system, you can join ranks with law enforcement to help them more efficiently identify and apprehend suspects. Many local law enforcement departments have video surveillance registration programs where residents and businesses can voluntarily enter their video surveillance systems into a database so police can easily identify cameras that may have captured footage from a crime. This saves precious time when trying to get a criminal off the street, because police don’t have to spend as much time canvassing an area for video footage.
“Every day there are countless news reports using footage from surveillance cameras to help detect, identify and apprehend suspected criminals,” says Angela White, president of the Electronic Security Association. “Video surveillance functionalities and security technologies used in both residential and commercial settings are continuously evolving. From facial recognition capabilities to auto-zoom and tracking, these features can go a long way in supporting local law enforcement investigations.”
Recently, law enforcement officials were able to apprehend a man who violently killed the 70-year-old widow of a pastor in Somerset, Ky., due in part to video surveillance. When the suspect, Dwight M. Bell, walked past the door of ESA Member Company, Modern Systems, the company’s video surveillance cameras automatically zoomed-in and tracked his movements on the property. David Morris, president of Modern Systems, located in Somerset, identified the suspect when reviewing footage and reported it to police. According to news reports, Bell was later arrested in Tennessee and has confessed to the murder.
“We encourage residents and businesses to contact their local law enforcement office to determine if a video surveillance database has been established in their community – and if so, enter their video surveillance system into the database,” White says. “Video surveillance footage from homes and businesses has been especially critical in solving crimes from random burglaries to kidnappings, murders and terrorist attacks.”
While securing your home and property, you can also help better secure your neighborhood and community.
“Smart home security systems can detect potential criminal activity while residents are away from home,” says White. “These systems continuously capture and analyze everyday activity in and around the home, automatically sending alerts to users’ smartphones or professional monitoring centers when unusual activity is detected, or a sensor is triggered.”
Through integrated video and audio technologies, homeowners and trained professionals at monitoring centers can see and hear what is taking place in real time, so the appropriate authorities are alerted immediately.
When installing a video surveillance system, White recommends using high-resolution video cameras and testing the angle of the cameras regularly. This helps ensure the cameras are always pointing in the most advantageous direction to capture activity at entryways and other critical areas of your home and property. It is also important to review the quality of the video throughout the year to make sure the resolution is optimized. Seasonal lighting changes can affect the quality of the video feed.
Click here to learn if your community has a video surveillance registration program.