YAKIMA, WA - The Yakima Police Department has created a new program that allows you to join police in the fight against crime: it's called SafeCam.
"It's a community action program that's basically designed so that our detectives can get security camera footage when a crime happens in a neighborhood faster," said Katlin Standiford, Crime & Intel Analyst with YPD.
Here's how it works: anyone with security cameras at their home or business can register them. When a crime happens in your area, that footage can be utilized by YPD.
"Officers are able to access this map, specifically our detectives have access to it; they're the ones that primarily use it and they can go in here and they can say a crime happened at this address," Standiford explained. "They are just going to look and see who has cameras registered around the location that the crime occurred at."
The program helps detectives obtain footage that may be part of an ongoing investigation.
Getting ahold of certain footage can take time if no cameras in the area are registered... so the more cameras registered, the more time and money saved.
"It does speed up the process for the case investigation for sure. It allows the detectives to look at a map - 'this is where my crime happened' - and then see which cameras are in that area instead of walking the neighborhood looking for the cameras," said Standiford.
In these scenarios, time is of the essence because not all security cameras hold footage for the same amount of time.
"Sometimes it's only a couple days, sometimes it's a couple weeks, sometimes it's a month, so we wouldn't always get the footage by the time we need it."
Here's what the program is not:
"It doesn't give us remote access to the cameras and that is the part I really want to stress, it's not a big brother situation," Standiford explained. "All we do is put a dot on the map saying there's a camera located at this place."
If you would like to join the program, you can visit the Yakima Police Department website. To register with SafeCam, click here.