Program seeking help from surveillance camera owners gains momentum

Paul Kurtz
February 25, 2019 - 4:00 am
Philadelphia Police Commisioner Richard Ross

Kristen Johanson | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's police commissioner says he is encouraged by the growth of a program that allows detectives to access crime footage from private surveillance cameras. 

The Philadelphia Police Department's Twitter feed is filled with images of people caught in the act of committing crimes. Many of those photos and videos come from people and businesses registered with the police department's SafeCam program.

Now in its eighth year, Police Commissioner Richard Ross says Safecam appears to be taking off.  

"It's grown exponentially in the last couple of years. Now, we have 1,800 people or more registered, which is up significantly from the year before. Obviously it's a program that we look to leverage technology to our benefit and the benefit of the residents and businesses here in Philadelphia," Ross said. 

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Ross says Safecam can be found on the police department's website.  

"It is prominently displayed, about what it is and how you can register, the different steps that you would take. We believe in the program, we think it's gonna help this city," Ross said. 

Police do not have direct access to the cameras, but they can contact registered owners if a crime happens near one of their cameras and look at the footage.