New Jersey County Fights Crime with Private Surveillance Cameras

New Jersey County Fights Crime with Private Surveillance Cameras

Monmouth County has launched their crime fighting initiative called Operation Watch Dog.

Law enforcement in Monmouth County, New Jersey are teaming up with residents and business owners to create a network of surveillance cameras to enhance security around the county and help fight crime.

The initiative, called Operation Watch Dog, works like this: Law enforcement are alerted about crime in a certain area of the county and then are dispatched, per usual, but with the Operation Watch Dog, law enforcement are also able to check the area on a map and see which cameras are registered close to the scene of the crime. This alerts officers and lets them know where in the area they should go to view video surveillance footage.

"How many times have you seen on social media that someone has some type of footage or some type of still picture from a video doorbell of someone stealing packages or someone creating vandalism," Monmouth County Sheriff Shan Golden said to a local news station. "Certainly this is what this is all about. Tell the officer, so instead of him going knocking door to door saying, "Hey do you have something we can view?' it is real-time information."

Through the Operation Watch Dog registry, Law enforcement say they can expedite criminal investigations, especially since it is a countywide program.

The Sheriff's Office is careful to explain that this is not a real-time monitoring program. The authorities will only tap into video surveillance streams if they believe there is a crime captured by the camera. Also, the system is optional, county residents can decide if they want to be part of the program or not.

"It's a completely voluntary program," Andrew Calvo, assistant director of IT at Monmouth County Sheriff's Office said. "Police are not going to be monitoring or see your cameras on live video. It's only for a case of investigatory need. Even if there is a need for the camera, they are going to ask for your permission before they come on to your property or even review the video."

The county already has over 300 cameras registered in the program at 30 different addresses, which they say are mostly businesses.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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