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Newport Police Seek to Create Database of Private Security Cameras in City

The Newport Police Department (NPD) is asking city residents and businesses to assist with future criminal investigations by notifying the police if they have security cameras covering their property or nearby streets and sidewalks.

The request is part of an initiative to create a database of where citizen-owned cameras are installed, which will allow police to create a list of residents and business owners and operators who may be able to help with the investigation of crimes that happen near their properties.

This police department initiative was created after citizens began calling the department to offer the footage from their security cameras that they believed might have caught a crime they saw being reported on the news, said Newport Police Chief Tom Collins.

“The police department does not want unfettered access to these cameras, but merely a list of their locations,” Collins said. “In the event of a crime near one of these cameras, we will reach out to the owner and request any assistance he or she can provide to the investigation.”

Video footage from a resident’s security camera recently helped police identify Justin Russell, a man connected to the fatal shooting of a taxi driver earlier this month near Washington Street, Collins said.

“This program means several things on several levels,” Collins said. “People understand that the police cannot be everywhere all the time. Collaboration also allows us to better live up to our commitment to safety for this city and its residents and will work as a deterrent for individuals wanting to come commit crimes in our neighborhoods.”

If you are interested in notifying the NPD of any cameras you have on your property, contact Detective Dennis McCarthy at [email protected] or phone 859.655.2018. The NPD also encourages residents and business owners outside of Newport to call their city or county police department to notify them of any security cameras that are on-premise.

-Staff report

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