Cuyahoga County

Prosecutor's Office unveils public safety initiative

11/22/2016


The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has unveiled a new public safety initiative that provides law enforcement with another tool to help solve or deter crime in our neighborhoods.

The Surveillance Camera Mapping Initiative is a volunteer registry of video cameras throughout the county that, through an app, will help investigators swiftly find the locations of cameras in the vicinity where a crime has been reported. This will expedite the process of finding possible video evidence during an active investigation.

“We want to make it easier for police to get information,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Lorraine Debose, who has been coordinating the registry effort for the Office’s Crime Strategies Unit.

Owners of surveillance cameras are asked to voluntarily register their cameras through the Prosecutor’s Office website. Their information will be securely stored and only shared with law enforcement through a password protected log in.

Based on similar programs in New York City and San Francisco, the Prosecutor’s Office began a pilot program with Ohio City Inc. in April. The Office has also reached out to other institutions, police departments and neighborhood groups throughout Cuyahoga County to register their cameras.

To date, nearly 700 cameras have been registered by businesses, homeowners, and community partners such as RTA and the Cleveland Clinic.

“When surveyed, 68 percent of Detroit Shoreway residents stated that safety is their number one concern,” Ward 15 Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone said at a press conference today at the Justice Center. “If we want to see our neighborhoods continue to thrive and grow, the best thing we can do as leaders is help make our communities safer.”

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, which is Councilman Zone’s ward has been seeking grants and holding fundraisers to set up its own system of security cameras on major streets. “The goal is to improve safety in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood,” said Jeremy F. Taylor, safety and community engagement coordinator at DSCDO.

This is precisely the sort of residents-led community safety initiative the Prosecutor’s Office hopes to enhance through the registry.

Surveillance footage has been used to implicate violent criminals like serial rapist James Daniel III. Daniel, also known as the ‘Early Morning Rapist’, was tracked and identified thanks to several residential security cameras. This led to his arrest, conviction and sentence of 144 years to life in prison.

“Surveillance can act as a great deterrent in our neighborhoods,” said Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty. “This registry will act as an impartial witness to help implicate or exonerate someone based on the video evidence.”

Businesses and residents can register their cameras by clicking here

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: 216.443.7488 or Email: jfrolik@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us