Several years ago, the Philadelphia police department began a program that would expand the use of private surveillance cameras for use in solving crimes. Called SafeCam, it allowed businesses and residents to register their cameras with police. Cops could then request a copy of videos captured with cameras if a crime took place in the area.
Businesses can even get a small tax break for installing cameras and registering them with the city. So far, 4,300 cameras have been registered with SafeCam.
Newsworks reports the police department is pushing for more businesses and residents to sign up.
Residents don't get any financial benefit for signing up for the program, but Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said individuals should sign up for the program anyway:
"If you recall the case from a couple years ago where a guy attempted to abduct an 11-year-old girl from the street and her little brother — I think he was only about 5-years old at the time — was screaming. And he let her go and ran and that person was apprehended and later convicted in court," Ramsey said. "That footage came from a residential camera."
Cops also cited 270 arrests made in part due to SafeCam footage in the last three years.