San Ramon's Newest Crime Fighting Tool

Homes and businesses voluntarily register their surveillance cameras in a new program called "Citizen's View"

By Stephanie Chuang
|  Saturday, Jan 26, 2013  |  Updated 3:37 PM PDT
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Stephanie Chuang reports on a new high tech way San Ramon police are using home and business surveillance cameras to fight crime.

Stephanie Chuang reports on a new high tech way San Ramon police are using home and business surveillance cameras to fight crime.

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Thinking outside the box – one East Bay police force has unveiled a brand new crime-fighting tool to not only track down thieves, but in hopes it will prevent crime altogether.

The San Ramon Police Department announced “Citizen’s View,” a new program that asks both home and business owners to voluntarily register their private security cameras so that anytime a crime happens, officers know if there may be some extra footage or evidence to help find suspects.

It’s a welcome idea for San Ramon moms like Kristin Swiers and Cindy Friederichs, who are also neighbors.

“We recently installed security cameras around the house for that reason because we’ve heard a lot of break-ins happening,” explained Swiers. Friederichs added,

“The cameras aren’t so out of the scheme of things anymore. It’s not just for big businesses. It’s for everybody, too.”

On a different street, Roger Gary voiced just a bit of concern about the plan. “Guess there’s a certain feeling of a Big Brother invasion of privacy.”

But his fears subsided after he learned police would not have access to the footage unless the owner willingly hands it over.

The idea is to also promote the idea that there are more eyes out there for would-be thieves, specifically.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice study of the Baltimore area, when cameras were installed, theft of personal property went down 25-percent in four months.

After six months, violent crimes were cut down by 23-percent. Some San Ramon residents like Friederichs are hoping will be reflected in their nice, quiet neighborhoods, which have become targeted for break-ins far too frequently for their comfort.

“The more eyes we have, the better. It’s to keep San Ramon safe.”

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