The La Crosse Police Department is looking for cameras.
The department sent a notice Wednesday asking for people with surveillance cameras on private property to register them with police to help save time and investigate incidents throughout the city.
The voluntary process would let law enforcement know what resources are available in a particular area when doing an investigation, said Officer Dustin Darling.
The registration will be used to create a list of where cameras are in the city and who to contact if the video footage is needed.
“It’s for law enforcement use only. It’s not something that will be shared with other departments or given to the general public,” he said.
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Darling used the example of a hit-and-run, saying if a vehicle struck another one on a particular block without city cameras, an officer would be able to pull up the registration and check for cameras on that block, then immediately know how to contact the owner to see first-hand what exactly happened.
Having surveillance footage can make or break a case, he said.
“It’s huge when it comes to the prosecution of any sort of case. It’s kind of hard to dispute video footage,” Darling said.
There are a lot of cameras out there, especially as technology like Ring doorbells become more prevalent, and officers are spending time looking for cameras, then searching for the owner.
“It’s very time consuming to canvas the area,” Darling said.
To register a camera, visit the city’s wesbite.
The voluntary process would let law enforcement know what cameras are available in a particular area when doing an investigation and save police a lot of time.