Own a surveillance camera? Richland police are asking for your help

Richland homeowners or business owners with security cameras may be able to help local police solve a crime.

The Richland Police Department just launched the Voluntary Camera Partnership. The VCP allows residents and business owners to register the locations of their video surveillance systems with the department. Police may ask VCP members to check their video footage for a specific date and time that may show activity involved with a crime, such as a getaway car.

“I think it’s a great time to launch this, because this is when you’re seeing a lot of package theft, holiday crimes, and we do see some vehicle prowling that increases when it gets darker earlier,” said Cerise Peck, crime prevention specialist for the Richland Police Department.

Peck wanted to clarify that by signing up for the program, the resident is not giving police direct access to their camera. Peck said to think of it more like a registry – officers can use the address of the crime or incident and then identify homes or businesses with cameras within a certain radius.

“If you’ve registered, you’ll pop up,” said Peck. “Then we may ask, ‘We had an incident last night about 11:30 p.m., if you have your security cameras on, can you please just check for footage?'”

The VCP is the latest in a few programs recently launched by RPD with the intent of furthering open communication and community involvement.

“We recently started our CAP groups, and we made our crime data available,” said Peck. “This is just one more thing that we’re adding…to be able to fight crime in Richland and partner with the community.”

As of Monday, Peck said about 100 residents had already signed up for the program.

To register for the VCP, click here.