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Cameras enhance Neighborhood Watch program
Imagine, you are alerted by your camera system of movement on your porch. You see someone is taking your packages! Immediately, you share the video with the police department. This actually happened.
When the community can quickly share a video or picture with the police, responding officers know what the criminal looks like before they get to the scene and they can keep an eye out for the individual as they drive into the neighborhood.
West Chester has a successful Neighborhood Watch program. This program started in the 1950s and neighbors today still report suspicious or unusual activity in their neighborhood. Today, technology can enhance Neighborhood Watch by offering the ability to share information, images and video in real time through social media apps such as Nextdoor.com, Neighbors App by Ring, Facebook, etc. This technology takes Neighborhood Watch programs to a new level.
The West Chester community has always worked hand-in-hand with police officers to fight crime. With easily available and accessible home security cameras, the community has the ability to share even more information and faster in order to make our communities safer.
Anyone with a security camera or a doorbell camera, such as Ring, Nest or Blink, can let the West Chester Police Department know they have cameras with outside video coverage by filling out a quick questionnaire from your smartphone or computer. If a crime occurs in your neighborhood, police may contact you to see if anything may have been recorded around the time of the crime. If something suspicious was captured on your camera, you may choose to notify the police department and share the video.
By registering with this program, residents are not obligated to provide the video and they are not giving direct video access to the police. By registering, residents are simply providing police with another potential tool for keeping West Chester neighborhoods safe.
Step up your neighborhood watch by going to the Register a Security Cam web page and use technology to stay one step closer to catching criminals.
With questions or concerns about utilizing cameras with the Neighborhood Watch program, please contact Officer Daniel Dean, public affairs officer, at 513-759-3985 or ddean@WestChesterOH.org.