MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There's a new push by Memphis Police to get more outside business and home cameras linked to help investigators, allowing them to have more eyes - and the hope is - catch criminals more quickly, before they strike again.
The 'Connect 2 Memphis' program seeks better results than many of the cameras at the Real Time Crime Center.
While a Daily Memphian report last year found a tiny fraction of crime reported mentioned SkyCop cameras, MPD is confident more cameras help more than they hurt.
"Every crime, we know, there are various elements of evidence, and without this type of technology, we aren't able to put those puzzle pieces together," Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said.
Right now, MPD's monitoring system is linked with more than 3,000 cameras. The department hopes to triple or quadruple that number in a year.
"It's virtual policing; we may not have a police officer on every corner but we may have a camera," MPD Deputy Chief Joe Oakley added.
Police also believe more discrete cameras will be more beneficial, compared to SkyCop cameras, which are more visible.
"Keep in mind, if we see a blue light, we know there's a camera there, so does the criminal. Well now, with the cameras on the homes or businesses, that don't know if we are integrated with our system at home," Deputy Chief Oakley added.
MPD said more cameras connected can protect officers during active crime situations or large events, and get needed footage to investigators hours earlier.
"If there's a Ring camera or some other type of camera system, that will help us with tags, vehicle tags. It will help us, you know, with identifying individuals," Chief Davis said, who added the goal is to eventually connect the camera program to 911 dispatch.
"So that every time a call or a serious event occurs, the closest camera to that location will show up in this particular Real Time Crime Center," Chief Davis said.
If you are interested in participating, learn more at http://connect2memphis.org.
You first need to register your camera online at that site, allowing MPD to more easily request a snippet of video since your camera is listed in the registry.
Second, those interested can integrate a camera or cameras with MPD. That allows police to use a live video feed during emergencies but it requires a plug-in device, typically starting at $350.