MILTON, Ga. — Milton Police have implemented a new initiative designed to assist officers during investigations and potentially track down suspects — and they are asking for the public’s help.
The department recently announced it will implement Operation S.C.R.A.M. (Security Camera Registry and Mapping), which allows homeowners and businesses to voluntarily log their security cameras into 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.
“What we’re asking Milton residents to do is, ‘help us, help you,’” Police Chief Rich Austin said. “The hope is that, the knowledge of the location of security cameras around Milton, combined with other evidence, could lead to solving even more crimes.”
Milton is the first North Fulton city to implement a security camera registration program.
“We feel this program has every potential to be an asset to investigating crimes that occur in Milton,” Capt. Charles Barstow said. “While the video footage may or may not produce viable leads as to who the suspect may be, it can provide details that help investigators construct timelines, determine movements of suspects and even discover additional associated crimes that may have gone unreported.”
While security cameras can be vital in investigating entering auto incidences or burglaries, Barstow said their usefulness is not limited to any specific crime.
If criminal activity occurs near a registered camera, knowledge of its location can expedite their investigation process. However, officers may still attempt to contact homeowners with security systems that are not registered on the database.
“The SCRAM program does help reduce the amount of time officers expend trying to determine if there is video footage of a crime, but [it] does not eliminate the practice of canvassing an area as potential witnesses may be located even when cameras are not (nearby).”
Homeowners registering their cameras will provide multiple means of contact. Barstow said this allows officers to reach homeowners as quickly as possible when they begin an investigation.
Volunteers will not be asked about the specific location of the cameras on their home or business.
The department is emphasizing that participation is voluntary, and Milton Police will not have access to the cameras. Homeowners or businesses who do log their security systems may be contacted by police if a crime occurs nearby, but releasing the footage to officers is still voluntary.
To register your security camera(s), visit bit.ly/2Gc9wfm.