SFPD launches program to access community surveillance video

Baldwin County

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — With your permission, the Spanish Fort Police Department could have remote access to your surveillance footage to help fight crime more quickly.

“We set up permissions at the beginning, so at 3 o’clock in the morning I don’t have to wake him up, I can just go pull it myself,” said Police Chief John Barber. It’s similar to Project Shield, a similar initiative that’s already underway in Mobile.

The department is working with existing cameras, asking businesses and neighborhoods with the devices if they’d like to be a part of the program – which the department has dubbed “Fortifying the Fort.”

“If we have a rash of auto burglaries one night, this is exactly something that would be an investigative tool where we can come back through and see who came back through the neighborhood,” said Barber. “People who live here probably aren’t gonna be our suspects.” Property crimes like this are some of the most common crimes typically seen on the Eastern Shore.

Mike Whitten is the HOA president for the Blakeley Forest subdivision. He’s on board.

“If someone comes in and vandalizes or murders or any type of thing, they can go look back at the cameras and have an investigative tool to go back and find who was the perpetrator,” he said.

The neighborhood has two cameras at each of its two entrances. One angle captures the car as it comes in, the other is positioned to capture video of the license plate. Residents can already access any footage from those cameras on their phones. Now, the police department can access when needed as well.

“They’re trying to bring the new technology to us to protect us and take care of us,” said Whitten.

If you’d like to join the program, you can call the Spanish Fort Police Department at (251) 626-4914.

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