Minneapolis police are asking private business to register their security cameras to develop a crime-fighting surveillance grid. The MPD says the system, managed by Minneapolis-based Securonet, would give officers and investigators an immediate connection to camera owners for video footage that could help solve crimes.
“We're able to log in, see the exact location where those privately held cameras are at, and we're able to send a mass communication via email to try to preserve any evidence that may exist,” Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher said.
Minneapolis police said the system was already a big help over a violent St. Patrick’s Day downtown. Video requests from investigators in these incidents were met with a 100 percent response rate from 21 local businesses, including Macy's and Target.
“We had a lot of video evidence from our city network, but being able to leverage those additional private cameras was helpful,” Gerlicher said.
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Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, said there's nothing unlawful with the registry, but he's concerned with the trend of increasing surveillance.
“It seems to us at the ACLU that this is not a good thing, that we need a society where yes, it's public but it's not always under surveillance,” Samuelson said. “And this schemata would make it always under surveillance.”
According to Securonet, no businesses provide police live feeds now and any video provided through the registry is optional
Right now, there are 200 privately-owned cameras in the registry, but the goal is to have 1,500 private cameras registered by the end of the year. Securonet said they’re currently only interested in exterior cameras focused on public spaces.
This is where Minneapolis Police monitors its 200 cameras. Each one records a back up for 14 days. pic.twitter.com/qspPYNDS7W— Ted Haller (@TedHallerFox9) July 9, 2015
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