JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - Do you have a surveillance camera at your home or business?
A lot of people do, and local law enforcement agencies say those cameras could be the key to solving tough crimes.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said video surveillance is one of the best methods to catch criminals in the act.
They are currently asking people with cameras in their homes or businesses to register those cameras in their system.
When an officer is called to a crime in an area their records management system will alert them to a surveillance camera in the area that they can use to help in their investigation.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has implemented this idea for a few years now after learning about it at a conference. They find that personal cameras on residents' homes and business can provide more visuals in a case.
"This is certainly going to facilitate our job and make it easier," said Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand.
Sheriff Rand said the areas that need it more are the ones he sees stepping forward the most. This being said he said he sees lots of local businesses and neighborhoods starting to get some type of surveillance equipment. And when you are a victim of the crime, the Sheriff told News 10's Alani Letang that people don't realize how important those tools are in helping out the police. Specifically when it comes time to show a suspect their evidence. "Once you are able to find the person in question or vehicle in question or even a partial plate it's pretty hard to argue that's not you on the tape," said Rand.
The Sheriff said they have caught several people because of surveillance tapes, and that it helps with those suspects be more forthcoming in what they've done. The Sheriff said that by having video evidence also helps with a jury to properly convict. And since they are a little short staff in the city the Sheriff said any little bit helps. Rand said, "some of the businesses have given us access when we need it for investigations remotely, so we can use their cameras to monitor crime, or traffic or any number of things from our desktops."
However, for major cases, the Sheriff said that it is very rare that a camera device isn't already used, like off of a police car or from a big store. He said that officers can be thinking of these cameras on their way to the scene, "so it's something they think of as soon as they're on the crime scene and maybe track down leads sooner."
Sheriff Rand said that surveillance cameras will also help prevent crimes in the long run, and hopefully decrease crime in Jackson County. That's because people will usually behave after spotting one of those eyes in the sky.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO REGISTER YOUR CAMERA, CLICK LINK BELOW: