Riverside Sheriff’s Department Announces Security Camera Registration Program

RIVERSIDE COUNTY — The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has announced a new program that will allow residents and business owners to register their security camera systems with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

This program will help deter criminal activity and assist deputies with their investigations. If you have a residential or business security camera, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like your help with gathering critical information related to crimes captured on your surveillance video.

Security cameras can be a powerful tool in crime deterrence. Your participation in this program will help expand the department’s investigative abilities and help identify potential witnesses or criminals. Registering your camera in this program does not give the department free or unrestricted access to your cameras or recorded video. Your registration will allow investigators to create a readily accessible database to aid them in locating crucial evidence to help solve crimes.

When a crime is committed, the department will refer to the “Security Camera Registration” list to identify any possible cameras that may have captured something of interest. It will then contact the camera’s owner and request they provide security video from the date and time of the crime. This process greatly expedites and enhances the investigation and may lead to the quick apprehension of the criminal, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Participation in the program does not alter your rights to privacy in any way and it is completely voluntary. We will not have access to your security camera footage unless you provide it. Registration information is kept confidential and the registrant can withdraw from the program any time.

There is no fee to participate in the Security Camera Registration and participation in the program does not alter your rights to privacy in any way.

To enroll in the program please visit the Camera Registration Webpage.

Security camera registry programs are relatively new, according to CCTV Camera World. The basic point of these programs is to enlist the general public, homes and business alike, to register with the police or sheriff’s department if they have a security camera system. Think of it as the neighborhood watch of the 21st century where your cameras look out for not only your property but for your neighbors as well, without you actually spending any time or effort. They are being implemented in cities across the country and managed by individual Police Departments.

Many people find such a registration to be an issue for a number of reasons.  Even though the Police or Sheriff don’t have direct access to your system, it adds to the “watchful eye of Big Brother”  feeling and leaves people uneasy as if their privacy is being invaded.  In reality this is not the case. Registrant information is kept confidential. The cameras and what they capture are yours and yours alone.  Registering your system says that you are willing to help rid your neighborhood of crime and willing to provide video from your security cameras upon request in the event of a crime.

It does not involve giving law enforcement the ability to freely access your cameras, claim ownership, or dictate the camera system’s function. This is simply a database that will allow a police department to see who might have captured footage related to a crime. Based on the location of the incident, if the PD believes a nearby camera might have captured something of interest, the police can then request the owner if he/she would provide security video from that date and time of the incident. Most importantly, it expedites the retrieval of video evidence that can help in an investigation without having to canvass the nearby areas for cameras. Time is key in apprehending criminals.

 

Image Sources

  • Security Camera Sign: Pixaby