Public’s cameras invited to unite for police review
District Attorney Jim Martin, the Lehigh County Chiefs of Police Association and the Lehigh County Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center have announced the launch of a countywide crime center platform designed to decrease criminal activity, speed investigations and help keep residents and businesses safer. The FUSUS cloud-hosted platform includes a Public Security Camera Registry – an online portal for citizens to register their security cameras in order to help solve neighborhood crimes. FUSUS is a public safety platform used in more than 200 cities and counties nationwide. It creates a common platform for agencies and the communities they serve on which to collaborate.
After a crime has been reported, looking for nearby private cameras is a time-consuming routine for officers when they are canvassing the neighborhood. Setting up a voluntary camera registration process enables investigators to know almost immediately if video evidence may be available at a particular location and who to contact to retrieve it.
Registrant information and any video files provided will be kept confidential and used only in the event of a criminal investigation. Camera registration does not give live video access to law enforcement, it only gives them camera location information for use when a crime occurs. Investigators will contact camera owners only if they need assistance collecting camera footage.
Registering a camera on the platform is done through this self-service portal: connectlehighcounty.org/
Both residential and commercial property owners are invited to register their security cameras.
The site allows community members to shape the circumstances upon which sharing is granted and helps law enforcement keep their neighborhoods safe. Organizations coming together with law enforcement to help fight crime collectively is a win for the countywide community, said Upper Saucon Township Police Chief Tom Nicoletti, one of the driving forces behind this initiative.
In addition to the camera registry, residents may also have the option to include live video feeds to the department.
By installing a small device on their network, residents and businesses may share live video feeds with police departments in emergencies to improve employee safety and police response. To preserve privacy, the live video can be shared only on alert by using a smartphone app or manual trigger button at the camera owner’s discretion.
District Attorney Jim Martin thanked the Lehigh County Chiefs of Police Association and particularly Chief Nicoletti. He also expressed his thanks to Rick Molchany, Director of General Services for Lehigh County, County Executive Phil Armstrong and the Board of Commissioners for funding this important project.
Last but certainly not least, Martin especially thanked Julia Kocis, director of the RIIC, for working tirelessly on this project.