SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is trying to make a registry of homeowners’ surveillance cameras that could be used to catch criminals.
The Sheriff’s Electronic Eye Program would map out the locations of the cameras, so deputies can find possible evidence faster. The directory would not allow deputies to tap into private cameras, as it would just indicate where the cameras are.
Diane McDonald showed CBS13 the surveillance cameras she recently installed at her Rosemont home after it was burglarized.
Sheriff Scott Jones hopes cameras like hers can help shed new light on crime.
“I’m certain that we have missed surveillance systems that might have been out here,” he said.
Jones hopes that will happen less with the SEE system, which would allow businesses and homeowners to register their cameras.
“It’s critical for significant events, such as child abductions, missing persons, things where really and truly time is of the essence,” he said, “and could mean the difference between life death.”
Detectives didn’t find surveillance video until weeks into the investigation of the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, setting the investigation back significantly.
But the program also raises privacy concerns, and worries the directory could be a sign Big Brother is looming. Jones says that’s not the case.
“I’m just as sensitive to Big Brother as any other citizen, however I knew it was important for the success of this program that it could be completely voluntarily,” he said.
Deputies won’t have access to the camera, but they can ask for the video in the event of a crime. Homeowners and businesses can say no, leaving law enforcement to request a warrant.