Sheriff's office launches camera-registration program
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office has launched a program allowing citizens to register private surveillance cameras with the bureau.
Fairview City Councilor Brian Cooper started advocating for this system last November, when he says there was a crime wave in the city. He signed up for the program as soon as it was available.
"It was a program I fielded to Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, and they agreed," he said.
Following Cooper's suggestion, MCSO-Fairview Chief of Police Harry Smith said they started working with the county's information technology department to create the system. The registration program is open to anyone living in the sheriff's office service area.
"We're intending for this to be a crime-fighting tool for all the areas we serve," he said. "This can be a really valuable tool to investigators."
The program lets MCSO deputies and detectives know where cameras are ahead of time.
"If we have a crime in that area, we're not having to spend time canvassing. It can actually help us to some really valuable leads in a shorter period of time," Smith said.
Signing up for the system is voluntary, and people may remove themselves from the list at any time.
Registering a surveillance camera with the sheriff's office does not mean police have automatic access to live feeds. However, registering a camera could make the footage subject to Oregon Public Records laws, and it could be subpoenaed by police if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime was captured by a camera.
There is an explanation of the registration system on the MCSO website, and Smith encouraged anyone thinking of signing up to examine it closely before registering.
For more information, or to register for the program, visit www.mcso.us/site/camera_registration.php.