Is Your Agency Tracking Area Cameras?

May 24, 2021

How does your department or agency track local cameras? That is the question.

During a recent social media review, citizens were asking that exact same question to law enforcement. How do you track area cameras? Are you keeping track of area cameras? These were everyday community members who saw the need to track area cameras in the quest to fight crime. These were citizens who wanted answers from their local police to see if they were in fact taking this critical step.

….law enforcement relies on camera technology to help solve crimes.

When this question was posed to law enforcement leaders, the answers ranged from “We don’t” to “I think we have a list somewhere in the Detective Bureau” and more.

The truth is that in today’s world, law enforcement relies on camera technology to help solve crime. Cops know it and so do our community members. From burglaries to homicides, officers and investigators pour over hours of surveillance footage, looking for that one critical piece of evidence that can break an investigation and solve the case.

In addition to watching the actual footage that is collected, officers and detectives spend hours upon hours searching for area cameras when a crime or incident occurs. Walking block after block, often at night with flashlights in hand, officers comb the eves of each house, hoping to spot a camera. Many times, they will repeat this process in the same neighborhood week after week. While these searches are critical for every investigation, they also take up precious time that could be spent working the case in other areas.

So, how does your department track area cameras?

  1. Can officers quickly search a database that will show registered cameras from your jurisdiction and beyond?
  2. Can your officers search by location, address, radius or zip code?
  3. Can your officers locate cameras from there desk or car and immediately dispatch to a location without spending hours searching the area for cameras?
  4. Can your citizens submit their cameras to the same database?
  5. Can your officers remotely access approved cameras without even going to the location?
  6. Can your officers see what cameras are in your neighboring towns and cities, or even 200 miles away, when an investigation takes them out of their local area?
  7. Can your officers add notes in a database about a local camera to assist future officers who may need to access the camera or contact the owner.

If you have answered “NO” to ANY of these questions, your department is falling behind.

The Nation Law Enforcement and Community Policing Integrated Network (OPS Network) includes the most comprehensive camera tracking and searching system available to law enforcement today. The secure OPS Network Camera Module allows all participating OPS Partner Agencies to manage and geolocate area surveillance cameras as well as search any camera location within the United States.

With the OPS Network Camera Module, approved officers can:

  • Enter new cameras into the network.
  • Search for cameras by location or crime scene radius.
  • Remotely access cameras that owners have granted permission.
  • Search for cameras from any jurisdiction.
  • Print lists of area cameras.
  • View interactive maps of areas for camera location and scene proximity.
  • Much more

With the OPS Network Camera Module, community members can:

  • Add their own personal or commercial cameras to the network.
  • Grant permission for law enforcement to remotely access camera systems.
  • Add special instructions and contact information so officers can gain access to the camera in a manner that is convenient to both law enforcement and the owner.

The OPS Network Camera Module is just one of the many tools offered to OPS Network Partner Agencies that bring all agencies into the 21st Century while working together with each other and our community partners.

If your agency or department is not yet participating in the Nation Law Enforcement and Community Policing Integrated Network, get started today.