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NOPD’s Security Camera Database is Helping Detectives Solve Crimes More Quickly

by Dawne Massey

September 8, 2016

Categories: On the Beat, Videos

Topics: crime cameras, SafeCam NOLA

Kristian Sonnier, a homeowner in the Faubourg St. John neighborhood, came to appreciate video surveillance cameras the hard way.

Around 4 a.m. on Mardi Gras Day 2016, a thief took off with a boat that was parked in front of Sonnier’s home. Luckily there was a camera across the street that provided a clear view of Sonnier’s house.

“My neighbor across the street had footage of the truck that stole our boat so I was able to go over and look at the theft on her system and she turned that in to police,” he said Sonnier. “I wish everyone had it. It would sure make it harder for people to be doing the things they shouldn’t be doing while we’re sleeping.”

He sees it as a way to not only keep his family safe but to also contribute to the safety of his neighborhood.

“It just made a lot of sense to sign up. I wish more people in the neighborhood and in the city had the system,” Sonnier added.

SafeCam NOLA provides detectives with a database of area homes that have video surveillance cameras.

“SafeCam Nola is an excellent program, it saves a lot of time,” said NOPD Detective Daniel Hiatt. “It’s a database of people who register their cameras so we know where to go instead of us walking up and down the street aimlessly, looking for cameras that some people hide on purpose. If they register their camera with SafeCam we can go check it out.”

The program is a New Orleans Police Department initiative that enlists community members in the fight against crime. Citizens register their information with NOPD via the SafeCam NOLA website, which helps NOPD detectives know where to look for surveillance video if a crime is committed nearby. The registration service was developed by the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation at the request of NOPD.

“This program highlights how effective public-private community partnerships work," Melanie Talia, CEO of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. “Cameras installed under this initiative not only improve the safety of host residents and their neighbors, but also empowers them to join NOPD in the fight for a safer city."

Citizens who register their contact information are just letting NOPD know that they have cameras -- they are not providing the police department with direct access to their camera. NOPD will only contact the resident if detectives believe their camera could contain evidence relevant to a criminal investigation.

Evidence provided by a resident’s video camera could mean the difference between bringing a perpetrator to justice versus leaving a crime unsolved.

For more information or to register your camera visit