Registered your surveillance camera? Tampa police need help solving murder cases

Tampa wants people with security cams to register them to so they can check videos near crime scenes.

TAMPA, Fla. -- By registering your surveillance camera with the Tampa Police Department, you can play a big part in helping officers solve crimes.

Project REC, also known as Register Every Camera, was launched in March and already has 200 people registered.

When a crime occurs, Tampa officers can access a database and quickly find nearby cameras that might have captured criminal activity

With officers needing information on the recent Seminole Heights murders, they’re urging the public to get surveillance cameras and register them.

Driving through the Seminole Heights neighborhood, people have made the message clear: cameras are watching.

“Now, it was like OK, it's definitely time,” says Bridgett Omeara, who lives in the neighborhood.

Omeara isn't taking any chances. She just ordered surveillance cameras to protect her family.

“Just to have kinda an eye on the neighborhood, to see what's going on. You just never know and for our own safety,” she says.

She, like many in the area, are heeding the message from city leaders -- to not only invest in surveillance cameras but register them through PROJECT REC.

“We need the folks in the community to be our eyes and ears,” says Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Having that video record would be critically important. Obviously, they're not up all night. They don't see everything, but the eye of that camera sees everything.”

More: 'Bring his head to me' | Tampa mayor doesn't mince words in hunt for a killer

Timeline: 3 murders in Tampa neighborhood, killer at large

Before, officers would have to go door-to-door knocking to find homeowners with surveillance cameras to try and find video to solve the crime. Now, they can use the map to find the camera and head straight there.

“If we can get the video quickly, they still might be wearing the same shirt in the video. It's very helpful to get it quickly,” says the spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department, Stephen Hegarty. “Project REC enables us to just call it up, look and see a handful of cameras. There are probably still more out there and we still must do that work but we can get some cameras quickly.”

The department has to ask the owner’s permission to use the video and they won’t be able to see it until you hand it over.

 It's videos that came from personal surveillance cameras that could help solve the Seminole Heights murders and finally put the community at ease.

 

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