'Virtual Block Watch' program expands citywide in Phoenix

PHOENIX - A Phoenix Police program allowing home and business owners to volunteer their private surveillance video to police has expanded citywide.

"What we're doing is we're trying to reduce the time between the commission of a crime and the identification and arrest of a suspect," said Sgt. Vince Lewis.   

The Virtual Block Watch Program launched in March as a pilot in Maryvale. Now, Lewis says more than 70 people have registered the number, locations and angles of their cameras with police.   

"We've got everything available from doorbell cameras to highly sophisticated closed-circuit television systems on business and homes," Sgt. Lewis said.   

The cameras are tracked in a mapping system similar to Google Maps. Investigators can zoom in and out and view specific camera angles before contacting a participant to see if their footage may hold evidence. Police do not have the ability to view the cameras live.  

For more information on the program, click here

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