APD announces partnership that allows CID access to existing surveillance camera feeds

Published 9:31 am Monday, February 26, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Atmore Police Department announced Feb. 26 a partnership that allows the local law enforcement agency’s criminal investigations division access to existing surveillance camera feeds located in businesses, schools, neighborhoods and other established locations.

The partnership is with Project Eye, according to a release.

Public Information Officer Sgt. Darrell McMann said Project Eye is modeled after other similar programs across the country, including the Mobile Police Department’s Project Shield. Additionally, the surveillance includes ring door bells.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“These programs have proven to be very successful,” McMann said in a release. “Project Eye is a partnership between the Atmore Police Department, businesses and citizens to assist in on-going investigations or emergencies. The goal is to combine existing resources so that every member of the community feels safe while empowering first responders to respond quicker with direct and specific intelligence.”

McMann equated Project Eye as a safety net for the city in that it provides first responders with information in real time.

“These connections would not be monitored continuously by the Atmore Police Department, but they can be easily accessed if an incident occurs,” he added.

McMann said joining the project is easy and free.

“Joining Project Eye authorizes remote viewing of on-site security cameras by trained members of the Atmore Police Department during times of emergencies or during on-going investigations,” he said. “Citizens and businesses who wish to participate and join the program will receive a free Project Eye sticker to place wherever they choose in close proximity to their camera. Affixing the Project Eye sticker is not a requirement of joining the partnership.”

McMann said in times of emergencies and during on-going investigations, quick access to security cameras owned by businesses or citizens may help save a life or solve a time sensitive investigation.

“One example of Project Eye becoming valuable in an investigation is if a business is burglarized after hours,” he said. “Remote viewing the business’ cameras would assist responding officers in the suspects’ description or identity.”

McMann said to become a partner with the APD and join Project Eye, one’s business or residence must be within the APD’s jurisdiction.

“You must have an Internet connection and your DVR system must allow for remote access,” he said. “Your cameras must not be placed in areas where someone’s expectation of privacy is violated. Additional questions concerning this will be answered when joining Project Eye.”

McMann added Project Eye’s connections are secure, and strict privacy guidelines will be enforced in reference to how every video feed is handled.

“Project Eye will be subject to audits and public records requests,” he said. “In the event a partner’s camera feed has been accessed they 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 with the Atmore Police Department will not be publicized.”

Businesses and citizens who are interested in joining Project Eye can contact the APD at 251-368-9141 and ask for Officer Chance Thompson.