MILTON, Ga. — Milton was on the cutting edge when it implemented its security camera database a few months ago, and it has already proven a valuable asset for police.
In July, Milton Police began Operation SCRAM. (Security Camera Registry and Mapping), which allows homeowners and businesses to register their security cameras to a database. When a crime occurs, officers can pinpoint the location of nearby security cameras that may have captured footage and could assist officers in their investigation.
Around three months into the program, Milton Police Capt. Charles Barstow said SCRAM has assisted in the investigation of two separate crimes.
“We are aware of at least two cases where detectives were provided voluntary footage from residents whose exterior cameras recorded the entering and exiting of suspect vehicles, as well as potential suspects,” Barstow said. “The timeline of the video footage has been critical in determining the whereabouts of the suspects during the crime and where they committed subsequent crimes in neighboring jurisdictions.”
As of last week, 94 homes and businesses in the city had registered for the program, and Barstow said feedback has been positive.
“Many residents are willing to partner with the program in the hopes that a doorbell camera or exterior video may help solve a crime in their neighborhood,” he said.
The most important aspect of SCRAM, Barstow said, is it allows officers to quickly identify nearby cameras versus scouring neighborhoods to locate them.
“Obtaining quality information in a timely fashion helps officers and detectives leverage the information to potentially bring closure to a case where time is of the essence,” he said.
Marietta, Acworth, Brookhaven and Kennesaw have similar programs, but Milton became the first North Fulton city to enact a security system database in July.
Earlier this month, Johns Creek joined the list, but their program is significantly different from Milton’s. Johns Creek officers will have access to a database for homes that have Ring camera doorbells installed, and homeowners can volunteer to submit video to police. Flock cameras, which are installed in neighborhoods to capture photos of cars and license plates, will be accessible by Johns Creek police through the neighborhood’s HOA.
Milton’s program is entirely voluntary. Police can contact homeowners enrolled in SCRAM when a crime occurs nearby, but giving officers access to the footage is still voluntary. Those looking to register their cameras can still do so.
“The program registration is open, voluntary and we continue to welcome any and all residents and businesses who wish to register current and future camera locations within the city,” Barstow said.