The Champaign Police Department has launched a new program that lets members of the public better help police in the event of a crime near their home or business. The Security Camera Registration Program allows community members and business owners with security cameras, video doorbells and similar systems inform the Police Department of the presence of private surveillance systems that may be of assistance to police investigating criminal activity in the nearby area.
Those who wish to register their surveillance systems with the City can easily register online at champaignil.gov/mycamera. Residents and business owners may also register their systems by contacting the Champaign Police Department.
“The Champaign Police Department is requesting the community’s assistance to reduce criminal activity in our community,” said Interim Deputy Chief Kevin Olmstead. “We realize that many of our residents and businesses have video security systems, and sharing video of criminal activity that property owners might have with police can often mean the difference between an arrest being made and a case going unsolved. This new program informs Champaign Police that your property has a security camera and that you may be willing to share the recordings with us to help solve a crime.”
Security cameras frequently provide valuable evidence that assists in solving criminal investigations. When a serious crime is committed near an address with a registered security camera system, officers from the Champaign Police Department may contact the registered camera system owner and request to see any available video. The registration program is completely voluntary, and even participants registered in the program can determine later whether or not to share their video with police. Participation in this program does not grant the Champaign Police with direct access or control over any privately-owned cameras or surveillance systems.
Similar camera registration programs have already been launched in communities throughout Illinois, including in Springfield, Bloomington, Decatur, Chicago, and many other areas. This voluntary program provides a valuable tool for police investigators and gives area residents another opportunity to partner with police and improve community safety.