Florissant turning to home surveillance camera to fight crime

Florissant police are teaming up with residents to use surveillance cameras to catch criminals. Credit: KMOV

“It’s citizens of Florissant taking a stand in their community to fight back against crime,” said Florissant Police Officer Steve Michael.

Crime prevention through community involvement is the tagline for the Florissant Police Department’s latest plan to limit criminal activity, a Resident Camera Program.

Officer Steve Michael told News 4 the idea was brought to life back in September during a public crime prevention meeting.

“People kept saying, ‘I’ve got cameras on my house,’ or ‘I’m thinking about getting cameras,’” said Officer Michael.

So the department decided to build a network, by allowing residents and businesses to register their privately-owned surveillance equipment with police online.

The program, serving as a second set of eyes for officers, now able to quickly identify nearby cameras when crime occurs.

“This really sends a message to would-be criminals that we have this program. Our community is teamed up with each other,” said Officer Michael.

“I think anything that has the community behind it can make a difference,” said Cheyla Wilson.

Florissant resident Cheyla Wilson said the plan could help suppress porch pirates and other everyday criminals.

“We just had the holiday season,” said Wilson. “I had coworkers that had packages missing from their houses, so I get it, I think that it would help.”

But, Wilson still has her reserves.

“That’s fine, but as long as they’re not able to go on their own computers and see when I came home this morning, or when I left for church, stuff like that,” said Wilson.

Officer Michael admits the idea sounds a bit invasive, but assures registering won’t give the department access to your camera’s feed.

“It’s not so much big brother, because it is voluntary,” said Officer Michael. “It is a neat interaction with the community really taking it upon themselves to help the police. It has worked and it is working.”

There’s currently no estimate of how many people have signed up, but officers told News 4 the idea is garnering interest.

Florissant Police said police agencies in other states are asking them about the program.

If you’d like to register to be a part of the Resident Camera Program, click here.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

News 4 Reporter

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