Billings PD Asks Residents to Help with ‘Project Eyes on the Block’
Home security cameras were at one time quite expensive. Now, thanks to the proliferation of affordable cloud-based systems like Ring doorbell cameras and affordable traditional camera systems, more and more people have some form of video surveillance in and around their homes. Of course, most businesses have multiple cameras too.
Safehome.org shared some stats they compiled using data from YouGov. They say that 38% of Americans have some form of home security, and nearly 20% of us now own cameras. If you've got a camera at your place, the Billings Police Department is asking for your help when it comes to solving crime in the Magic City with a program they're calling 'Project Eyes on the Block'. Read on to see how it works.
See something, say something.
When a crime is committed in Billings, the BPD frequently spends considerable time canvassing the immediate area asking residents or neighboring businesses if they happen to have potential evidence captured on their security cameras. Project Eyes on the Block aims to make this process more efficient. BPD's Administrative Lieutenant Matt Lennick summarized the voluntary program, saying the initiative is...
...intended to build on a partnership between the Police Department and members of the community. The program will create a list of willing participants in our community that wish to work with Law Enforcement in the event an incident happens in their neighborhood or business.
Sgt. Nate West of the Billings Police Department added,
By signing up for Project Eyes on the Block, the resident is basically saying if something occurs that the Police are investigating an officer can contact them to review footage to see if anything tied to a crime or incident was caught on camera.
What the program doesn't do.
Privacy issues are a big concern for Montanans, and the BPD reminds citizens that Project Eyes on the Block does not give the police unauthorized remote access to their cloud footage, and it does not automatically grant permission for police to access your video. You can learn more about the program and sign up HERE if you choose.