Headlines News

‘Project Eye’

Special to Atmore News

Atmore Police Department is creating a public partnership that will allow APD’s Criminal Investigations Division access to existing surveillance camera feeds located in businesses, schools, neighborhoods, and other established locations, including doorbell cameras.
Project Eye is modeled after similar programs that have proven successful across the country, including the Mobile Police Department’s Project Shield. It is a partnership between city police, businesses and citizens that could assist in on-going investigations or emergencies, said police officials.
The program’s goal is to combine existing resources so that every member of the community feels safe. It allows faster response times and direct and specific information on what situation is unfolding.
Police Chief Chuck Brooks said in a press release issued Monday, February 26, Project Eye will be a “safety net that provides first responders with information in real time.”
He stressed that the electronic hookups would not be monitored continuously by APD but could be easily accessed in the event an incident occurs. Sign-ups authorize “remote viewing of on-site security cameras by trained members of the Atmore Police Department during times of emergencies or during on-going investigations,” according to the press release.
Becoming a partner in Project Eye is simple, easy, and free. Citizens and businesses who wish to participate will receive a free Project Eye sticker to place wherever they choose in close proximity to their camera, although affixing the sticker is not a requirement of joining the partnership.
Quick access to security cameras owned by businesses or citizens could help save a life or solve a time-sensitive investigation, Brooks said.
An example: If a business is burglarized after hours, remote viewing of the home’s or business’s cameras would assist responding officers in obtaining a suspect’s description or identity.
To become a Project Eye partner a business or residence must be within the APD’s jurisdiction. The business or residence must have an internet connection and a DVR system that allows for remote access. Cameras must not be placed in areas where someone’s expectation of privacy is violated, such as restrooms. Additional questions concerning this issue will be answered when a business or person joins Project Eye.
All connections are secure, and strict privacy guidelines will be enforced in reference to how video feeds are handled. Project Eye will be subject to audits and public records requests.
In the event a partner’s camera feed has been accessed, that partner will receive an email notification of the date, time, and reason their camera system was accessed. The identities of businesses and citizens who choose to become partners will not be publicized.
Those interested in joining Project Eye can contact Officer Chance Thompson at 251-368-9141.