Barnegat Homeowners Invited to Share Security Video Footage With Police

Nov 15, 2017

A new voluntary program aimed at solving and preventing crime in Barnegat Township is already paying dividends. Late last month, the police department launched an initiative creating a geo-database to assist officers to see which homes in an area have home video security systems with external cameras.

“As technology advances, so, too, do the ways in which residents are able to assist our agency,” said Lt. Keith Germain. “Perhaps the most helpful advancement in recent years has been the ability of residents with home video security systems to review their video footage in order to assist in providing information about incidents that occurred in the area of their homes.”

According to the new program, when a crime such as a burglary or theft occurs in a neighborhood, officers will be able to check the geo-database for homes with cameras that may have captured video of a subject or vehicle of interest. In such cases, officers would contact the homeowner and request to review the footage with the owner.

“Registering your system in the geo-database is entirely voluntary,” said Germain. “Sharing video footage with the Barnegat Police Department is also entirely voluntary with each and every incident. Registering your system does not obligate you to share or review video footage, nor does it give the Barnegat Police Department access to your system.”

Germain said the idea was suggested by a resident last month.

“Since then, about 20 people have signed up,” he said. “In fact, there was a theft reported in a neighborhood, and we accessed cameras and were able to see a person of interest. Whenever we get such images of a suspect, we put them on the police department website and Facebook page, and that has helped us tremendously.” 

Township Committeeman John Novak, who is police department liaison, added, “We are always looking to find ways to integrate technology with our crime-solving capabilities. We are working on some others that I am not at liberty to discuss yet. I’m glad that people want to do what they can to help us. It makes their neighborhoods safer.”

Residents who are interested in adding their system to the geo-database may visit the link listed on the department’s Facebook page. After completing the form, it can be emailed to: —E.E.

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