Police department starts new program

Published 6:00 am Friday, May 15, 2020

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The Farmville Police Department has launched a new program to help fight crime.

According to Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington, Project SCALE (Security Cameras Aiding Law Enforcement) consists of citizens aiding law enforcement by registering their security cameras with the police department.

“A location database created will be used when suspicious activity takes place to pinpoint cameras in the specific area of activity,” Ellington said in a release. “Video footage can then be used to provide helpful information.”

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With Project SCALE when suspicious activity takes place, the department can use the database to pinpoint the cameras in that specific area.

“This is a community-wide project that will benefit all citizens and businesses within our town, and I am excited to launch this project for several reasons,” Ellington said. “First, this is another way we as a community can come together in an effort to fight crime. Second, it will give our officers yet another opportunity to visit with our business and homeowners. Lastly, privately- owned security cameras have become vital tools for law enforcement across the country, but they can only help us if we know they exist.”

According to Capt. W. H. Hogan, anyone with a surveillance camera can register it.

Registering your surveillance camera does not allow the police department to view or access the camera remotely.

“The database will simply be a list of addresses that have cameras, with some basic information such as how long the video is stored and the contact information of the person that should be contacted if there is a need to obtain video,” Hogan said. “These addresses can then be populated on a map. During a criminal investigation, if an officer or detective believes that surveillance video would be helpful in solving the crime, they could look at the map to determine if there are any relevant cameras in the area. They could then contact the camera owner.”

For more information, or to register a camera, contact Lt. Chris Moss at (434) 392-2109 or the police department at (434) 392-9259. All information collected when cameras are registered is kept strictly confidential.