SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Police Department, in an effort to be vigilant in its efforts to solve crime and keep the community safe, has implemented the Citizens' View Security Camera Program and is asking homeowners and businesses with private surveillance cameras to register them with the borough.

“Our goal is to make South Plainfield an undesirable place for criminals to commit their crimes,” said South Plainfield Det. Sgt. Garrett Cassio. “Registering your business or personal surveillance camera may help deter crime and assist the police department in its overall crime prevention strategy.”

Det. Sgt. Cassio, along with Det. Lloyd McNelly, and Det Lt. Dan Noonan presented South Plainfield Police Chief James Parker with the idea of creating a database to keep track of the surveillance cameras in town; the  Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office approved the Citizens' View Security Camera Program early this month and registration began just this week.

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According to Cassio, many residents and business owners currently operate surveillance systems at their home or business, however, the police are not always aware of who may have potentially vital information. In turn, residents with security cameras in place aren’t always aware that their system may have captured information that could help solve a crime.

Though the Citizens' View Security Camera Program, the South Plainfield Police Department will be able to quickly identify if there are nearby cameras that may have captured criminal activity. “Video surveillance is one of the best methods for apprehending criminals and convicting suspects who are caught in the act of committing a crime,” said Det. Sgt. Cassio. “For example, the serial bank robber who committed over eight robberies in Central Jersey including South Plainfield last year was identified immediately by the South Plainfield Police Department through the help of residence and business surveillance cameras. This was a major reason the suspect was identified and later arrested.”

If necessary, police personnel may request to view camera footage in order to assist in the investigation, apprehension and/or prosecution of the criminals involved. It’s important to note, said Det. Sgt. Cassio, that homes or businesses who register with the program will only be contacted by police if a criminal incident occurred in the vicinity of their security camera. Therefore, residents need not have concern that ‘Big Brother’ is watching.

“Any information provided to the South Plainfield Police Department regarding your camera systems will be for official use only,” he said. “Your personal information will be confidential and not be for public dissemination.”

If your residence or business has a security camera system, and you wish to register for the South Plainfield Police Department’s Citizens' View Security Camera Program, you may do so by completing the Private Video Surveillance Camera Registration Form available online at http://www.southplainfieldnj.com/spnj/Announcements/Citizens%20View%20Security%20Camera%20Program.pdf. Completed forms can be dropped off at the police department’s front counter or mailed to the South Plainfield Police Department, 2480 Plainfield Ave, South Plainfield, NJ 07080. Residents and businesses can also contact Det. Sgt. Garrett Cassio at gcassio@sppolice.com/(908) 226-7662 or Det. Lloyd McNelly at lmcnelly@sppolice.com/(908) 226-7668.

“South Plainfield is a great community and we want our residents to continue feeling safe,” Det. Sgt. Cassio added. “This program will help do that by helping the South Plainfield Police Department quickly identify nearby cameras that may have captured any criminal activity.”