TPD asks residents to join security camera database

- There's always a surveillance camera keeping watch outside Justin Ricke's home in Tampa Heights.

"A camera system, off the bat, eliminates some of that opportunity," Ricke said of the potential for his home to be burglarized or vandalized.

He recently became one of the first people to sign up the Tampa Police Department's newest program "Project REC" or Register Every Camera.

The hope is for residents and businesses to help create a map-based database of surveillance cameras in the city. TPD says knowing where cameras are rolling will save valuable investigation time when a crime occurs.

Instead of going door-to-door, looking for potential footage, officers can just check the map and make a call.

"This will help us all to solve crimes more quickly and efficiently," said Sgt. Kelley Spanglo.

It's a completely voluntary program, and TPD says just by signing up, you aren't automatically giving officers permission to view your private video.

"We're not asking for IP addresses; just basic info," Sgt. Spanglo said.

Similar programs have found success with other police agencies. Ricke is encouraging fellow neighbors to get on board with Project REC.

"If I can make their job easier in protecting my neighborhood, why wouldn't I do that?" Ricke said.

For more information or to sign up, visit https://www.tampagov.net/police/project-rec.

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