Community Surveillance Partner
The Randolph County Sheriff's Office values the members of the community and operates with a pronounced community oriented policing philosophy. One of the most valuable resources for solving crimes and catching criminals is having video footage. Today, more and more citizens and businesses are installing private security cameras to help protect the inside and outside of their property. As a citizen or business owner, you may not be aware that your cameras may have unknowingly captured valuable footage that can help solve crimes and apprehend criminals. This footage, if available, has the ability to keep our community safer. The Randolph County Sheriff's Office is launching a new program to increase its partnership with the community. The purpose of the Community Surveillance Partner Program is to enlist the general public, homes and businesses alike, to register with the Sheriff's Office if they have a security camera system. Think of it as the neighborhood watch of the 21st century, enlisting the use of technology to fight crime in our community. Your security cameras lookout for not only your property but for your neighbors as well. The Sheriff's Office will not have direct access to your system. The cameras and what they capture remain yours and yours alone. Registering your system says that you are willing to help rid your neighborhood of crime and willing to provide video from your security cameras upon request in the event of a crime in your area. The Sheriff's Office will not share registrant's information with the general public.
Upon registration, your name, address, contact number and camera location will be recorded in the Sheriff's Office database indicating that you have surveillance at your home or business. The registration process will allow the Sheriff's Office to quickly and easily identify camera systems in the vicinity of a crime scene, and enable them to contact the owner for assistance in obtaining video evidence for their investigation.
The program encourages residents and businesses with security cameras to register their cameras with the Sheriff's Office. By registering your cameras, the Sheriff's Office will know which residences and business have functioning cameras. Should the Sheriff's Office believe that your cameras might have footage that can help solve a crime or catch a criminal, a member of the department might contact you and request to view your footage. Registering your cameras provides the Sheriff's Office with the location of your cameras and expedites the retrieval of video evidence that can help in an investigation without deputies having to canvass the nearby areas for cameras. The essence of time is a key component in any investigation and the quick apprehension of criminals prevents additional crime. In the event a crime occurs in your neighborhood, you will be contacted by a deputy to assist in the investigation by providing any applicable video footage around the date and time the incident occurred. In many cases, this would speed up cases and prosecution, which in turn will save money for the taxpayer by reducing the amount of man hours spent on an investigation.
Participants in the Community Surveillance Partner program are not obligated to provide camera surveillance; they will not be pressured by law enforcement. By voluntarily registering, you are implying that you are willing to help. Participants are in no way liable if they decide not to share footage due to personal reasons or due to system malfunction. No citizens would ever be held liable for a lack of footage, as the program is completely voluntary; express consent from citizens is required before a deputy can view or obtain video footage. Your cameras will never be monitored and/or accessed by anyone from the Sheriff's Office without your express permission and consent. Citizens can withdraw from the program at any time by request. This partnership is a win-win for our community.
Registering as a Community Surveillance Partner
Step 1 - Registration
The registration form (PDF) may be completed and emailed to Amanda Varner or by utilizing the Randolph County Sheriff's App on your mobile device; registration can be found under the Programs button and submitted electronically. Please share specific information about your security camera system that will help investigators understand the capabilities of your system. Specifically, how many cameras are installed, the video storage capacity of your system, and any other additional information you can or feel comfortable sharing regarding your system. You will not be requested nor required to share the password to your security system.
Step 2 - Verification
Once your registration has been received, a representative from the Sheriff's Office will contact you to verify the information provided and to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Once registration is completed, you will only be contacted when a crime occurs in your area or neighborhood and there is a reason to believe your security camera footage could prove useful to the investigation. Upon contact, you retain the right to cooperate or refuse to cooperate with the investigation. Please understand that those investigating a crime may not be able to share details of the incident with you but can generally explain what has happened and why your surveillance may be beneficial to the investigation.
The Community Surveillance Partner program is expected to provide incredible benefits to our county by developing a vast network of privately owned and often covert surveillance throughout the community. That network has the potential of deterring crime and encouraging would be offenders to think twice before committing criminal acts. By partnering with the Sheriff's Office through this program, citizens will assist deputies in quicker identification and apprehension of criminals and aid in their prosecution. As awareness of this program spreads and participation increases, it will become a deterrent to crime. As criminals in the area start to gain knowledge of the fact that our citizens are partners with the Sheriff's Office, they may have second thoughts of victimizing others.
We hope that all citizens with surveillance cameras will choose to serve the community by participating in this very simple and nearly effortless way.