The Preston Police Department recently implemented a new program to protect the town’s residents and businesses. The department is creating a database of surveillance cameras in private homes and local businesses to assist the department in case of a crime or an emergency. The project is new to the area and is completely voluntary.
“Just like it takes a village to raise a kid, it takes a village to protect a community,” compared Chief Blaise Sass, Preston Police Department.
Preston’s Deputy Officer Gideon Prudoehl is spearheading Preston’s Citizen Volunteer Video Surveillance program after hearing about a similar program from a friend six months ago.
Officer Prudoehl explained, “The community can help us. The faster we can get information, it helps us fit the pieces together and solve the crime that much faster.”
The Citizen Volunteer Video Surveillance program as described on the registration form: The Preston Police Department is requesting assistance from the community to help further future investigations in our area. Outdoor security cameras and video surveillance are becoming more popular amongst citizens in our area. We are asking anyone who has an outdoor camera system and is willing, to fill out this form for possible use by our agency in the future. This completed form will help provide us with a list of residents in the area who have cameras. If an incident occurs in an area, residents who have filled out this form will be contacted and asked to check their videos for any helpful information. All information on this form will be confidential and treated as such. The information will NOT be shared to anyone but the staff of the Preston Police Department. The participation of this new program is completely voluntary and information to the department may be revoked at any time you deem.
Chief Sass stressed, “We will never look at the footage if a business or resident does not want us to.”
Preston, Lanesboro and Fountain residents wishing to participate in the program are asked to fill out the Citizen Volunteer Video Surveillance form which can be found at each town’s city hall. Forms can be returned with your utility bill.
Prudoehl proudly shared, “We have had good participation so far and have gotten good feedback from people.”
The Fillmore County Sheriff Department does not have a formal video surveillance camera program.
“We would hope for and be happy with any assistance that we were able to receive from a recording provided to us. Any additional evidence that helps us build a case is helpful,” explained Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge.
Fillmore County residents can contact Sheriff DeGeorge at firstname.lastname@example.org with the specific location of their cameras. DeGeorge explained that his department will make sure to connect residents with the right agency.
How helpful is the footage? What is the quality of the footage? “Footage from cameras can help a great deal, we have solved cases with the help of surveillance cameras that would have been very difficult to identify suspects without the aid of video surveillance. Quality of footage varies between cameras, factors such as age and format of technology impact the clarity of recordings,” said Sheriff DeGeorge.
The goal of maintaining a list of video surveillance camera program is for residents and businesses to partner with their local law enforcement agencies and assist in creating a safe community. Contact your local law enforcement agency to see if they maintain a list of video surveillance cameras.