“In the past week alone we’ve had 17 cameras registered, 17 new cameras,” MPD Lieutenant Kerry Curtis says, “but we know there’s a lot of cameras out there.”
Medford Police Lieutenant Kerry Curtis says that was made apparent this week, when a murder investigation revealed a handful of homes with cameras that weren’t registered.
“None of them were registered,” Lt. Curtis says, “we found them through a neighborhood canvas where we either saw them, or a neighbor would say ‘I don’t have one but my neighbor across the street has one.'”
The case is shedding new light on the department’s Surveillance Camera Registration and Mapping program, or S.C.R.A.M. It allows home or business owners to voluntarily register their cameras with MPD. If a crime takes place, and they know cameras are nearby, they can investigate even quicker.
“A lot of times it’s really difficult to see the cameras,” Lt. Curtis says, “they’re under the eaves, they’re in places where we can’t see them so if we know that you have a camera we can make contact with you right away.”
Since the program began in October of 2015, 228 surveillance systems have been registered. That’s up more than 50% from the end of last year. According to city records, there’s some 26,000 homes and businesses within city limits. While many of them don’t have cameras, the department knows they could have a lot more in their system.
“We know there’s a lot more surveillance cameras out there,” Lt. Curtis says.
The agency says this week’s case proved how important they can be, and they hope it encourages more people to sign up.
“This is such a great opportunity for the police and the community really to work together and to team up in solving the crimes that happen in your neighborhood. ”
Medford Police Department isn’t the only agency in Jackson County with a program like this. Central Point and Ashland Police have surveillance registration programs as well.