Local police say doorbell camera registry could be helpful

MADISON, Ala. - Several police departments around the country are encouraging citizens to register their doorbells to police in case of theft.

Right now there's no such program in Huntsville or Madison.

The Madison Police Department said they have used doorbell camera footage to solve several area crimes -- from package theft to home invasions.

"When police officers responded to burglaries to vehicles or a business, we know that there are already cameras in that area. If so, crime scene detectives can immediately begin to access it," explained Captain John Stringer of the Madison Police Department.

While the department hasn't established its own security registry with homeowners within the city of Madison, police see the bright side of the concept.

"This is certainly a valuable tool. It builds trust in the community. It's based on our community policing efforts anyway," added Stringer. "It helps us establish a rapport and it also becomes a force multiplier for an agency."

Madison police say community members are normally open to submitting video.

"So far we've had pretty good experience with citizens that will submit doorbell footage. Or even businesses that have their own systems that allow us to come in and access them," said Stringer.

Video from doorbell cameras has even helped the department solve cases across counties.

"We work so well with Huntsville, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, agencies in Limestone and Morgan county that we've been able to solve cases not just here but for each other," he added.

Something that Madison police believe would only become easier if a camera network program was created for citizens.

Madison police said they encourage people to protect themselves and keep an eye their property.

The department also said they respect citizens' rights to privacy when it comes to security footage.

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