The Milton Police Department is implementing a voluntary program to encourage Milton residents to register locations of personal security cameras to help Milton officers solve crimes.

Milton police department has begun Operation S.C.R.A.M. (Security Camera Registry and Mapping) as a way to help them fight crime. They are asking residents and businesses to register the location of security and doorbell cameras on their property. Police say they are hoping this measure will allow them to solve more crimes. Police officials emphasize that participation in the program is completely voluntary.

“We do not have access to the camera without homeowner consent and an officer or investigator must still make contact with the homeowner or business to view or be provided any copy of the footage from the camera on each and every occasion,” police Captain Charles Barstow said.

More residents and businesses are installing private security cameras to help protect the inside and outside of their property than ever before. These cameras can inadvertently capture valuable footage that can help solve crimes — even those that take place on a different property as the cameras.

Using the geographic location of registered cameras, Milton Police will be able to directly contact a registrant to determine if they have helpful recordings, should a crime occur near the registered surveillance system.

Barstow says that the program is not designed for police to “remote in” or have access to a homeowners camera feed or microphone feed.

“Rather it is for the MPD to know the location of cameras within a certain radius of where a crime might have occurred to determine if video footage is available and if the footage is usefully in helping solve or prosecute a crime,” Barstow said.

“What we’re asking Milton residents to do is, ‘help us, help you’,” Milton 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.”

This police/community partnership operates on a strictly voluntary basis. It is not intended for active surveillance, and Milton Police will not have direct access to cameras. Those who register a camera may be contacted if a crime occurs near that camera, but releasing the footage to police is still voluntary.

Milton is the first community in north Fulton to implement a voluntary security camera registration, but Marietta, Acworth, Brookhaven and Kennesaw have seen success with similar programs.

“This footage, if accessible to the police department, gives the community the ability to be even safer,” Austin said. “This program is yet another example of how the Milton Police Department routinely works together with our community to address crime and quality-of-life issues. Proactive initiatives such as the S.C.R.A.M. partnership help keep Milton one of the safest cities in Georgia.”

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