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Police ask businesses, home owners to register surveillance camera's to help catch criminals

GREENVILLE, SC - The Greenville Police Department rolled out a new voluntary registration program Thursday, that would create a database of surveillance camera's throughout the city.

Business and home owners would be able to register their surveillance camera's with the police department, so when an incident occurs, police could call that home or business and immediately check to see if a suspect was caught on camera.

It's called the SafeWatch Camera Registration Program.

"It allows the citizens of Greenville to partner with us to fight crime," explained Lee Hunt, Strategic Planning and Analysis Administrator with the Greenville Police Department.

According to Hunt, investigators would save time by calling a home or business directly for footage, instead of going door-to-door to see if anyone has a camera.

"We will simply call you and say, 'Do you have any imagery on your camera that could show an individual walking by your house, a car driving by, and if you do, can you just call and let us know if we can come review the footage?' There's nothing big brother about it."  

Alix Bernard, co-owner of the bookstore Joe's Place in Greenville, told 7-News Friday that he often worries about someone breaking into his business overnight. 

"When we close and lock up, turn the lights on, every night I think one of these days we're going to get a visit and they're either going to steal a bunch of stuff or torch the place - you know - who knows," he said.

That's why he said he's on board with the program, and hopes it's a way for neighbors to look out for each other.

"I think it would be cool to be like a neighborhood watch thing, where we've got camera's pointing at each others buildings, put them on timers so they dont run all day."

For more information or to register your surveillance camera, click here.


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