LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Little Falls Police Department has launched a new program designed to be a collaborative effort against crime.
The program, "Little Falls Police Department Watch," is a database of local surveillance systems, which could lead to the collection of possible evidence more efficiently. Residents and businesses voluntarily register their privately owned surveillance camera systems so that information or footage captured may assist in the apprehension and prosecution of individuals involved in criminal activity in the neighborhoods.
According to Chief Steven Post, the program is a partnership between the police department and the community. It was launched last month by Det. Dawn Gilchrist.
"Det. Gilchrist plans to utilize the database of addresses to make the job of locating footage quickly, efficiently and effectively," said Post. "Locating footage quickly is instrumental in solving cases, recovering property, or locating victims."
Post explained that the system uses geographical locations of the registered cameras, allowing the police department to directly e-mail or call residents in an area in which a crime occurred. A resident will only be contacted by police if there is an incident within the vicinity of his or her camera system and may request to view footage in order to assist with the investigation. However, a resident is not obligated to grant police access to his or her surveillance camera footage at any time, whether the system is registered or not.
"With today's technology, a resident can even help us with footage from miles away on their smartphones. That is the importance of this program," he added. "A resident can be at work miles away and will receive an email from our detective requesting footage review."
Post added that there are very popular and inexpensive systems that will allow the resident to check their footage from any computer or smartphone.
"If we can get information sooner than later, we will improve our odds in solving a case," he emphasized.
He also added that the police department has no access to the resident's surveillance systems, only access to their address and contact information.
"This is completely voluntary and information obtained is protected from public access. We need to use today's technology to our advantage, so we can provide a better level of service to the community," Post noted.
Residents can register their cameras by visiting the link below or visiting the Township of Little Falls' website. The link for video surveillance registration is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdKZmEEVUB8hETFBfBb8H_dKMmk3n8MI_BkGrJsFXxryorHUw/viewform