Spanish Fort PD asks for access to private surveillance systems | Baldwin County Alabama News
Spanish Fort PD is putting more of its policing efforts into the community. Fortify the Fort is a new program much like Project Shield in Mobile where local businesses, churches and organizations grant police access to their security cameras. Police officials are hoping for a strong turnout.
Those who join the partnership will receive an orange sticker indicating that they are sharing their surveillance video with the police and telling potential criminals that you are being watched.
“When they see that sticker that says, ‘I’m sharing my surveillance video with Spanish Fort,’ it makes them think twice about, ‘Hey, does that mean they can see me now? What is my probability of being caught? “, Spanish Ft. Chief of Police, said John Barber?
Like Project Shield in Mobile, Barber said Fortify the Fort will bring together resources across the community to help deter, resolve, and actively combat crime in Spanish Fort. He said the Bass Pro Shop shooting incident in September was an example of how this shared technology can help.
âWe had phone calls about it and our agents were responding to those phone calls which were relayed by our dispatcher, forwarded to our agents as they left,â said Barber. âIf we had, for example, had access to live Bass Pro Shop surveillance video, our dispatcher could have retrieved it, providing instant information to those offices when they were responding to the scene.â
Those who partner with the police department give them a range of access to their security cameras. This access can be as important as live viewing while responding to criminal activity or as limited as on-site viewing later. The Bible Baptist Church was one of the first to partner with Spanish Fort PD. Pastor Richard Ullo said he could give the police as much or as little access as he wanted and that the Fortify the Fort initiative only made sense.
âIt’s not just a benefit to our church,â Ullo said. âIt’s a benefit to our community because if there’s an accident or a police chase or something else happening, you know our cameras can reach the highway and they can zoom in on it and be able to to see what happens.
One company that is keen to join the effort is the Papa John convenience store on the highway. 31. The owner, Paresh Mistry said that while he has yet to be approached, this is a program he would enthusiastically support.
âWe need it,â Mistry said. âWith the growth of Spanish Fort, we need to have increased security and I think our police department is doing a great job, you know. The new boss, you know, if he wants to come talk to me, I’d like to talk to him too.
Chief Barber said he was also in talks with schools in Baldwin County, hoping to reach an agreement to access his CCTV as well. This program is made possible by a Homeland Security grant of $ 50,000 which will help pay for the infrastructure and networking that must be put in place.
If you would like to participate as a business, HOA church, or other organization, call the Spanish Fort Police at (251) 626-4914.
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