The Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) last week unveiled a new platform designed to enhance community safety through a 21st-century neighborhood watch program. Virtual Crime Watch provides an opportunity for residents and business owners to help the CCSO solve local crimes with the help of exterior video surveillance cameras.
The voluntary program encourages Charles County residents and business owners to register outdoor surveillance cameras with the CCSO. If a crime occurs, the CCSO will quickly identify security cameras that may have captured criminal activity in the area. Once a camera is identified, police will contact the owner and ask if they would examine the date and time in question for potential leads in the investigation.
According to a press release:
The CCSO will not have a direct link to the footage from your camera, they will simply know that you have a system that may have captured critical footage associated with the event being investigated.
“Providing us with the location of your security camera has the potential to help us apprehend or identify criminals faster. As officers respond to criminal incidents, they may be able to use the information or footage from the security camera to assist in the apprehension and prosecution of the criminals involved, thus keeping our communities safer,” said Sheriff Troy Berry.
After registering your camera, you would only be contacted by a member of the CCSO if there is a crime in the area of the security camera. “Any information that’s captured on a camera is of value to us. Our goal is to get as much information as quickly as possible in regards to any investigation we work, and video surveillance footage is excellent evidence when prosecuting crimes,” said Lt. Louis Schmidt, III, Commander of the Agency’s Homeland Security and Intelligence Section.
To register a camera, visit Crimereports.com, click on “Register my Camera” and follow the prompts to create your own account. Links are also available on the CCSO webpage at https://www.ccso.us/. For more information and instructions, view our tutorial video.
Read the full press release for more information.