For the first time, Metro is asking valley homeowners to notify them if they have a home surveillance system.

It will make it easier for them to look for video when a crime is committed.

Currently, when officers respond to a crime scene, they have to look around for any cameras that might have picked something up. It takes time to find the owners and look at the video.

If people with security cameras register with the department, police will have a list of addresses and contact numbers so they can quickly ask permission to see video that often helps solve crimes. The new program is called Vegas SafeCam and is already in use in Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Salt Lake City.

Registering your surveillance system with the department is completely voluntary. However, the more privately owned cameras they have on record, the more effective the program will be.

“As of now you’ll have a crime occur and you’ll start at the point of the crime and work your way out in canvassing a neighborhood and trying to find video,” said Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts. “This will allow us to go specifically along a path, and say we have cameras here and there, and we’ll be able to reach you by phone because you will have logged contact information.”

Metro won’t have the ability to tap into your cameras, they will simply know that you have a surveillance system and may ask to see your video if a crime is committed nearby
If police end up using your video in court, they say they take great care cropping it down to where no one can tell where the video came from, protecting the homeowner’s identity.

If you want to be part of  Vegas SafeCam, click here for more information.