Police using home security cameras to fight neighborhood crime

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HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) — Avon police want to put home security cameras to work fighting neighborhood crime. The department is encouraging homeowners to sign up for the Community Camera Program.

When crime happens, officers would know exactly where to look for pictures, video and clues to catch the bad guys.

In one Avon neighborhood it appeared as if almost no one was home, but almost everyone was watching.

I stood in the street seeing security cameras behind me, security cameras to my left and another one across the street looking me in the face. If there was a crime on the block the culprits would probably be caught on camera.

Brian Nugent is a Deputy Chief with the Avon Police Department. "You may have had a photo of the suspect fleeing the scene and it might help us prevent another burglary," Nugent said. "The next time it could be you."

The Community Camera Program is intended to save detectives valuable time and leg work.

“That video will stay there for a couple of days at a time,” Nugent said. “If you don’t find out about that video for a week later we could lose the evidence.”

Avon started testing the program last year.

This March, cameras in homes caught two burglars and a neighbor's outdoor cameras provided the clues that led to the pair's arrest.

Neighboring Danville implemented the Community Camera Program 2 years ago.

“This puts us ahead of the game,” said Officer Nate Lien, Danville Police Department.

In one case, when a car was stolen from a neighborhood, police immediately knew which homeowners to contact for security camera video of the crime.

They put his picture on social media and within hours the man was identified, found and arrested.

“That's why the program is so valuable,” Officer Lien said.

But some home owners fear they are giving up their privacy and giving police access to everything their camera's see.

Both departments insist that can't happen.

“Our program does not in any way, shape or form give access to officers without [homeowner’s] knowing,” Nugent said. “This is a process of giving us your name, address and a phone number."

In both communities fewer than 100 homeowners have enrolled in the Community Camera Program.

Police insist it works and would be even better of more people signed u. They believe it work even better and neighborhoods would be even safer if more home owners signed up.

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