ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Albany County Legislators proposing a new program that would have the sheriff’s office at your door if a crime happened in your neighborhood. NEWS10 speaking with county officials and residents on how the new program will work.
The SafeCam program would allow you to register your personally owned cameras and share footage with the Albany County Sheriff’s office in an effort to battle gun violence.
After speaking with about a dozen area residents and businesses, 100% of the people we spoke with share the sentiment of Michael Wagner, the owner of Waldorf Tuxedo Company.
“I’m on board. Because it makes the neighborhood safer. People know if they see that you got video cameras, they are less likely to commit crimes,” said Wagner.
Albany County legislator, Sam Fein, has been a proponent of the new measure and explains how the new program will work.
“One, this is a completely voluntarily program. Two, sheriff’s or law enforcement doesn’t have direct access to the camera. This is just a database, so they know where the cameras are of people who choose to volunteer. And, also, the database is not going to be shared publicly because we recognize some people have privacy concerns,” said Fein.
Local real estate agent, Ira Bethea, says this is a step in the right direction and he hopes more will get on board, too.
“Once law enforcement can demonstrate that they’ve been able to solve crimes a little quicker, I think people would get the idea and I think that they won’t see it necessarily as an invasion of privacy, but a very important tool. And I think that will create some momentum around this initiative,” said Bethea.
If the measure is passed and proves to be successful, Fein hopes to get federal funding and install more cameras throughout the county.
“I think that’s an important piece because a lot of people can’t afford these cameras and we want to afford everyone the opportunity to participate,” said Fein.
The county legislature is expected to vote on the measure later this month. If passed, Fein says the measure will go into effect by the end of May.