Surveillance camera owners urged to register with police

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Surveillance cameras are playing a larger role in solving crimes.

That's why police now want business and homeowners to register their security cameras for detectives to use as a crime fighting tool.

Officers believe the registry can play a major role in identifying suspects.

Video from surveillance cameras has gotten so much better in recent years, and because of declines in price, the surveillance systems are popping up on almost every block.

Cities across the nation have similar programs where owners of private security cameras register them with police so detectives can find the footage should a crime happen in the area.

Officers say important evidence can go unnoticed by the camera owner if that person doesn't know the specifics of the crime.

"They are irrefutable evidence, when we have a camera," said Sgt. Jake Becchina, of the KCPD law enforcement resource center. "When we have video footage of a crime and we’ve got a good account of the event, it is irrefutable in prosecution and closing cases. It helps the prosecutors tremendously when we have a case that also has video evidence with it."

Police say they will never access private camera footage without the owner's permission. Participation in the program is voluntary and camera owners can opt out at any time.

Police would not establish any live link to see what's happening at your home or business. And camera ownership information would not be released to anyone outside of investigators.

Go to KCMO.org/police and put "watch KC" in the search tab to register your surveillance cameras.