Dallas Police Ask for Access to Private Security Cameras

Home Security Camera
Home Security Camera | Image by Onfokus/Getty Images

The Dallas Police Department has launched a new partnership program to help law enforcement enhance public safety.

The CONNECT DALLAS program was created to “enhance emergency preparedness by enabling police, fire, and public safety professionals to better assess and rapidly respond to criminal activity and emergency situations. It will also enable investigators to easily gather evidence in case of an incident,” according to the Connect Dallas webpage.

DPD is asking the public to add their home surveillance systems, including RING doorbell cameras, to a community camera registry exclusively accessible by the department. Allowing DPD access to the cameras does not allow them to watch a live stream; instead, it informs officers that a camera is present at the location, and video footage can be requested if needed.

If a crime occurs near a registered security camera, an investigator from DPD will contact the owner to request the footage. The registry aims to assist officers in solving crimes more efficiently and promptly, allowing the community to work together to create a safer city, per the program’s website.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, DPD has been struggling to get crime under control as overall incidents increase amid the department’s longstanding officer shortage. A City analysis claims the department needs around 4,000 officers to properly maintain public safety. It currently fields approximately 3,000.

As part of the CONNECT DALLAS program, DPD will also offer residents, businesses, and organizations the option of allowing DPD direct access to their camera feed in case of a nearby emergency.

For this higher level of camera integration, residents and establishments can purchase a small device designed by Fusus that plugs into their camera system, enabling camera sharing with DPD.

Camera owners can set preferences regarding when their footage is accessible by law enforcement, such as only allowing footage to be available in an emergency.

“Connecting through Fusus, we hope to improve our response times to incidents and work to close cases through evidence and data gathered with the help of our community,” said Police Chief Eddie Garcia in a video announcing CONNECT DALLAS.

Users can unsubscribe from CONNECT DALLAS or delete information at any time.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the public safety initiative was first enacted in Arlington. Connect Arlington was launched on January 22, and within just a day or so, 285 cameras were registered with the program, while 195 more were integrated with the Fusus device.

As of April 24, 292 cameras had been registered with CONNECT DALLAS, and 80 more had been integrated with the Fusus device.

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