Delta police are launching a new program aimed at streamlining investigations and solving crimes faster.
The Delta Police Department’s community watch program is a voluntary online database of homes and businesses with video cameras that investigating officers can approach when looking for footage of a crime.
“There are a variety of situations where police might want to view video that is privately collected,” Staff Sgt. Dave Schaefer, who spearheaded the program, said in a press release. “Our officers might be looking for information to help solve a spree of thefts from vehicles, or they may be urgently trying to find a high-risk missing person. This database will help provide a starting point of where public-facing video cameras in the area may be.”
Currently, officers have to conduct a door-to-door canvass for each instance, and that can be a time consuming process. The community watch program allows the public to proactively register and help police solve crimes more rapidly, which could be critical in missing person or serious crime investigations.
Signing up is voluntary, and can be done at deltapolice.ca/cwp. Michael O’Connor, a Delta resident who recently signed up for the program, said in a DPD press release that the process was very simple and easy to navigate.
“You never know how you might be able to help police out,” O’Connor said of his rational for registering. “It might be providing footage of someone breaking into your neighbour’s house, or maybe your cameras have a key bit of footage of someone’s tattoo that could help solve a serious crime.”
As technology has evolved, so too has the role the public can play in assisting police with investigations.
“We’re fortunate to have citizens who are so active in helping to keep our community safe,” Schaefer said. “We thought this program would be a good fit here in Delta.”