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ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Because gathering video can be a time-consuming process for law enforcement, the Athens Police Department is partnering with the local community to create the Eagle Watch program.

The Eagle Watch program seeks to create a list of homes and businesses in Athens with security cameras.

If a resident or business owner has a camera installed, they can choose to let police know its location. If a crime occurs in that area, police can contact the camera’s owner directly to ask if the security camera picked up any footage.

Athens Detective Kelly Fussell told News 19 the program will rely on community involvement.

“It’ll connect law enforcement with residents and business owners and help us work together better,” Fussell said. “We run into so many situations where we have to search neighborhoods to see where cameras are, then knock on doors and leave business cards and things that take a lot of time.”

Fussell said the department wants to improve the efficiency of the evidence-gathering process, and video evidence is an increasingly important part of solving crimes.

“It’s uncommon nowadays when we are not looking for and dealing with digital elements in our criminal investigations,” Fussell said.

The program is voluntary, and Athens PD would not have remote access to the cameras.

If you are interested in registering your security cameras, check out the Athens Police Department Facebook page for more information.