Huntsville police creating data gathering system to solve crimes faster

People in Huntsville can have their information added to the map if they want to help police.

Posted: Aug 19, 2019 7:35 PM

Huntsville police are asking for your help when they're working to solve crimes. The department wants to know if you have a doorbell camera or any surveillance cameras on your property that you'd allow investigators to access.

Huntsville police are asking neighbors who want to be a part of the initiative to come forward. David Helms, who lives in Five Points, said he hopes police are able to get bad guys off the street faster with it.

"We had our neighbor who was robbed on New Years Eve, and we never heard anything. He had over $30,000 worth of equipment stolen from his landscaping company," Helms said.

He said he slept through a robbery on his street, and he is excited to hear Huntsville police are starting a data gathering system to help solve crimes faster.

"It will help the Huntsville Police Department and our investigators canvas a neighborhood electronically and it will help us push forward in investigations a lot faster than normal," said Sgt. Tim Clardy, an investigator for the police department.

Sgt. Clardy said right now, investigators have to knock on doors and ask people if they can have access to their surveillance footage. The new system would create a map showing investigators which homes have video cameras and who is willing to turn over the footage to police.

"I think it's a great idea. We've had incidents where if we had only had a camera, we could have found hit-and-run people. People were hit and then took off or some of the robberies are here," he said.

Sgt. Clardy says video footage can help solve everything from property crimes to homicides.

"This is your neighborhood. This is where you live. This is where you raise your kids, and we are here to try to make that safer place for you and your family. Any help is greatly appreciated, and in return, it will make your neighborhood a safer place," he said.

Police wouldn't have access to your video, and people who agree to help investigators would be contacted and asked to send footage over if a crime happens.

"What does it hurt? It's information for the police to take care of their business, and I sure appreciate them," Helms said.

Huntsville police said the database would be kept confidential, and everyone can stay anonymous. If you're interested in signing up, you're asked to contact Huntsville police through Nextdoor with your information.

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