A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keven Moore: Community Surveillance Program uses technology to help police protect our neighborhoods

Not one to leave any valuables in my vehicle, I often times am torn on whether to lock my car at night. My thought process has always been that if a thief wants to get in, he will break a window and I’ll just be left footing the bill for the repairs since it falls below my deductible.

But after somebody got into my truck and ransacked the glove compartment for the second time in two years, I went full out James Bond and purchased an outdoor wireless night vision and motion activated Wi-Fi high definition security cameras that I can now access from my phone.

Since my neighborhood doesn’t have any ex-retired Navy Seals on walkie-talkies patrolling on a neighborhood watch program, I felt compelled to invest in the security system in an effort to take matters in my own hands. I am not alone as many homeowners and business owners have made the same decision, particularly since the cost of these sophisticated camera systems has dropped significantly.

Local police departments are starting to catch on as well, and now recognizing the potential that these surveillance cameras offer.

Just recently the Covington Police Department joined the ranks of several other cities across the country by asking residents and businesses to join the Community Surveillance Program, in their ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce crime.

Often times surveillance system owners are not aware that their system may have recorded a crime that occurred near their property, and the police departments are soliciting the help of the community to help the solve some of them. In an effort to quickly solve crimes and apprehend suspects, the Covington police department is turning to their residents, encouraging those who own a surveillance system to register the location and system capabilities with its Community Surveillance Program.

Upon registering, participant information will be uploaded to a database used to catalog the video surveillance systems throughout the community. Participants will only be contacted by the Covington Police Department if there is a criminal incident in the vicinity of their location.

There is no fee to participate in this voluntary program. All information will be kept confidential and will be for official use only. Personal information will remain confidential and will not be distributed except as required by law or court order. 

Criminals are getting smarter and this is one way homeowners and business owners can stay one step ahead. Today criminals can use Google street view and bird’s eye satellite to simulate and plan their attack on your home.

This neighborhood eye program or community share-cam program is just another useful tool.

Now when a crime occurs, authorities can search the database and immediately contact individuals in the area who have cameras that might have recorded the incident. This is truly neighbors helping neighbors helping the police and making our communities safer.

In the past, officers had to go door-to-door to find out where cameras were located during an investigation. In some cases, officers were not able to recover certain video footage before it was deleted. It’s important to note that the program does not give police the ability to tap into home or business surveillance feeds.

Since implementing the program police departments across the country say that it has helped lead to thousands of arrests — from porch package thieves, armed robberies and even murders. Video surveillance is one of the best methods for identifying and convicting criminals who are caught in the act of committing a crime.

Some neighborhood associations have taken this a step further in an effort to help keep their neighborhoods safer. They have installed their own security cameras to form their own ring of protection, recording the neighborhood entrances, exits and cross-streets.

Access to the cameras can be restricted to prevent unauthorized viewing, since the cameras are accessible from the internet they can be streamed and viewed on a web browser, without the need for any special software.

Neighborhood watch leaders can setup a home computer equipped with inexpensive DVR software which can record video from multiple cameras and save them to the local hard drive or on a remote file server. If there are any incidents in the neighborhood, watch leaders can then share the video with local law enforcement to help solve the crime.

As technology evolves so must we, in order to even the odds against those that wish to do you harm and take advantage of you. In order to make this program work, homeowners and business owners need to participate and encourage others to do the same.

If you don’t have a security surveillance system and are considering purchasing one, you can find a fairly inexpensive advances wireless camera systems available at stores like Lowes, Home Depot, SAMs and Costco.

Just remember: he who stays a step ahead of alligator, makes it that much harder to be bitten. Our security must be threatened in order for us to appreciate it and by installing and using a security surveillance system, you increase your odds to better deter and solve acts of crimes that may be perpetrated against you.

It takes a village and even sometimes Big Brother to protect our property and security.

Be Safe My Friend.


Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both Lexington and Northern Kentucky. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com.

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Many of us trust that law enforcement will help keep us safe. While that is certainly the case, community watch programs that use technology can also help increase public safety. The goal is to find the right safety equipment that will help further the cause.

Leave a Comment