The Riley County Police Department is launching a program for residents and businesses to register their security cameras, so that police may contact them to access footage to help solve crimes.

Capt. Greg Steere spoke of the Project Safe Cam program at Monday’s Riley County Commission meeting.

Through the program, residents or businesses can voluntarily sign up at RCPD’s website to help the department create a map for police use of private camera locations. If an incident occurs in that area, the database will let officers know they can quickly reach out and ask to review footage. Steere said registering does not make people obligated to hand over video footage, and people can leave the program at any time.

“This is something that other communities have been doing for a while,” Steere said. “Cameras and video have become such an important part of investigating crimes and incidents and often the successful prosecution of offenders.”

Steere said this does not mean police can access live feeds, and it would mainly simplify what officers currently do, which is canvass areas asking residents if they have camera footage they can review.

Steere said in his research with other police departments who have similar programs, he’s been told the partnerships have been helpful in solving crimes and have elicited a positive response from the community.