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Cuyahoga Co. urges residents to register surveillance cameras to help crack down on crime

Posted at 10:47 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 18:18:11-05

A new app will allow Cleveland police investigators to more easily find surveillance cameras in the vicinity of a crime scene.

News 5 reported in September about a database of surveillance cameras that the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office was putting together to help police make arrests. 

To participate in the program, homeowners and businesses can voluntarily register their cameras to make them searchable for investigators. 

The camera-mapping plan is similar to those in New York City and San Francisco.

There are 700 cameras registered right now, countywide. 

REGISTER YOUR CAMERA HERE.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the cameras have already helped solidify convictions.

"Our conviction rates are up because of the cameras, the solve rates are up because of the cameras, and we are putting serial offenders away because of these cameras," he said at a news conference Tuesday.

The program was already in existence but now the focus is on specific areas like Evan Chaloupka's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, where residents have raised just under $5,500 for cameras on their own.

"The piece of mind alone is huge, not to mention the deterring," he said.

Chaloupka registered a home camera and caught a thief less than 24 hours later.

"He busted into the house next to me and stole a bunch of tools," he told News 5.

Here's how it works: Each red marker on the map represents a camera in a specific area. So if you register a camera at your house, police and prosecutors can see it. 

And if something happens near you?

"We would have our officers used this database to contact them," said Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Lorraine DuBose. "The relationship would develop from there. If they're interested, if they changed their mind and don't want to provide it, that's something we'll sort out."