Business and property owners now can grant La Crosse police access to security cameras to increase community safety.
Project Blue Light, a private-public partnership, is an extension of the Safe-Cam Project, a network of 32 surveillance cameras monitoring the city’s downtown that launched early this year to aid investigations and deter crime.
Police encourage all business and property owners to participate, especially those positioned between downtown and college campus areas for student safety, La Crosse police Assistant Chief Rob Abraham said.
“As we have found, video has been instrumental in helping us solve crimes,” he said. “This helps us become more efficient and effective.”
There is no fee to tie into the network, but surveillance cameras must use Stratocast brand software to make them compatible with the department’s system.
Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions was the first to join the department’s network last week, granting police access to two surveillance cameras monitoring a 20-unit apartment building at 1414 Pine St.
“This is about working smarter as a community,” business owner Marvin Wanders said.
The software allows officers to view live feeds and stores surveillance footage so police can retrieve it immediately when necessary, Wanders said. In other cases, police must track down owners to review video, a time-consuming process.
Wanders plans to add additional cameras to the network and encourages other business and property owners to do the same.
“If we can do anything as a community to make officers more efficient, it benefits all of us,” he said. “The safer community we have, the more value there is for everyone.”