Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Jan. 11, 2022
(Parker, Colo.) The Parker Police Department seeks contact information for residents with exterior home cameras to help potential investigations.
The VISION camera registration program (Video Increasing Safety In Our Neighborhoods) is a voluntary resident partnership launched by the town in July. Anyone with exterior cameras can register their email and phone number with the police department, granting permission for investigators to contact the resident about possible surveillance footage.
This does not require releasing any video, access to a live camera feed, or cooperation with police. Anyone can also opt out at any time.
Josh Hans, Parker Police public information officer, explained the program would aid investigators in quickly canvassing an area for useful surveillance footage.
However, police could request information for any investigation, ranging from a missing person or other time-sensitive matter to a lengthier case.
Door-to-door canvassing will still be necessary, Hans explained, but officers will have a leg-up on contacting exterior camera owners who may not be home — and also know what residences are useful to contact.
“Surveillance video can provide information on solving a case,” Hans said. “Officers can just check in the area on who might have had eyes. Now, they would still do a canvass of the neighborhood but this could give them a jumpstart. Officers can send emails or phone calls before leaving the office.”
When a household enrolls, the location and contact information create a “pin” on an internal, private map that notifies officers of possible surveillance footage they can gather.
Hans stressed that participants are not obligated to share any video. He cited a slew of reasons why footage may be unavailable but said the reason doesn’t matter. All footage is still private to the resident before submission to the department, and signing up does not obligate the resident to hand over footage. However, if the footage is submitted and used as evidence in a court case, it becomes public record, much like security footage from a business.
“One of the reasons we (the Parker Police Department) are so successful is we have a great partnership with the community,” Hans said. “This is just one more tool. We launched it at the end of July, and more than 125 residents have signed up so far. So, it’s still in its infancy.”
Hans noted the convenience and speed of exchanging information is useful to law enforcement, and having potential access to video recordings across the community allows residents opportunities to work closely with the police department.
Other programs like VISION exist in Douglas County, including for unincorporated areas patrolled by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Only Parker town residents can enroll in the program. Residents can register their cameras online at parkerpolice.org and must certify that all video provided will be unaltered.
Residents can remove their information from the database by emailing email@example.com. Participants will be contacted periodically to ensure they want to remain enrolled. They also can notify police if the cameras were removed.
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