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Bridgewater’s S.M.I.LE. program asks residents, businesses to register surveillance cameras to fight crime

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Bernards Police seek duo who set off exploding fireworks at front door
~Courtesy of Bernards Township Police Department, Bridgewater Courier News

BRIDGEWATER – If you’re getting a surveillance camera for Christmas, you can become a crimefighter in your neighborhood.

The Surveillance Monitoring Initiative for Law Enforcement (S.M.I.L.E.) program is the Bridgewater Police Department’s newest crime prevention and investigative strategy.

Goal of the S.M.I.L.E. program is to deter crime and promote public safety through a partnership between police officers and the community by asking them to register their video surveillance cameras with the department, according to a news release from the township.

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By voluntarily registering a surveillance camera and your contact information, police officers will know how to reach you if a crime occurs in the vicinity of your camera.

The camera footage can help the police department establish leads and identify suspects, whether it’s an act of vandalism or a home invasion.

Registering a surveillance camera does not give the police department direct access to the images captured by your camera. The police also can not view the footage without your consent.

Police will only be able to look at the footage is if you decide to release it to the police.

In the S.M.I.L.E. program, detectives or officers will contact you if they believe your camera may have captured footage relevant to a criminal investigation.

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For example, in neighboring Bernards Township, a homeowner’s surveillance camera captured footage of individuals ringing a doorbell at a home and then setting off fireworks on the porch on the night after Thanksgiving.

All S.M.I.L.E. program information is kept confidential. Residents and business owners who have cameras, or are looking to purchase cameras, can fill out the registration form to participate in the program.

For more information, visit www.bridgewaterpd.com/smileprogram.

Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

 

 

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