New voluntary registry will allow MPD to access private security cameras

The Memphis Police Department (MDP) is asking residents to voluntarily register their security cameras on a new network for quicker access to footage and, perhaps, live video.
City officials announced the Connect Memphis network. They said the network is “designed to provide critical and actionable information that speeds up investigations and emergency response and keeps residents and businesses safer.”

With Connect Memphis, MPD will have a list of cameras in areas around the city. Should a crime occur, the list would help eliminate the need for door-to-door canvassing — police asking neighbours if they have a camera and footage that may help solve the crime.
“Having the ability to quickly review video footage in a criminal investigation is critically important,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “With Connect Memphis, our officers will know where active cameras are in relation to a crime scene and be able to obtain the footage more quickly or request it to help with their investigation. We hope you will sign up and join us in the fight against crime.”

Camera registration does not give MPD access to live video. Investigators will contact camera owners only if they need help collecting camera footage. However, residents and businesses can upgrade their video security systems to include live video feeds to MPD. With the installation of a “small CORE device,” they can share video ”in emergencies to improve employee safety and police response.”

The devices range in price from $350 for one device that can support up to four cameras. A yearly subscription of $150 is required for this bundle. The most expensive live-video-feed bundle is $7,300 and can support up to 50 cameras. A yearly subscription of $2,300 is required for this bundle.

The live video systems can be shared only on alert, using a smartphone app, or a manual trigger button at the camera owner’s discretion, said MPD. “The Memphis Police Department is excited to introduce this technology that will allow us to further partner with our community members, says MPD Chief CJ Davis. “By utilising Connect Memphis, this will serve as a deterrent and aid with the collection of video evidence in a timely and convenient manner.”