CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found Cleveland police want to get video from your home security cameras without knocking on your door.
They hope this would help them get a look at key evidence more quickly and solve more crimes.
It could only happen with your permission.
Wednesday, police went before the Cleveland City Council Safety Commission pushing a new ordinance. It would allow investigators to get video from home and business cameras by working through whatever security company you or a business may use for a video surveillance system.
So often, private cameras capture crimes.
Last week, a doorbell camera recorded a woman carjacked in a driveway.
Last year, business cameras recorded hundreds of dirt bike riders taking over the streets.
So, Cleveland police want council to clear the way for investigators to get that video without coming to see you.
Assistant Safety Director Tim Hennessy said, “This will enable us to interact with all brands of home cameras and store cameras.”
While police say they could only get access to the video if you agree to it, Councilman Michael Polensek followed up just to be sure.
Polensek said, “So, the property owner would have to give you the authorization.”
Deputy Chief Harold Pretel said, “Depending on the permission allowed by the owner. The owner may say. ‘I want to be contacted every time.’ They may say, ‘If you want it, you can have it.”
It could save a lot of time during investigations.
Remember, a year and a half ago on the west side, a Cleveland police detective was shot and killed. Investigators saw video of possible suspects crossing a street. Then, they spent dozens of hours knocking on doors trying to find more security video to trace the steps of those suspects.
Cleveland businessman Tim Bozak said, “I think it’d be wonderful.”
He has a network of cameras on the west side. He often shares video with police. He says if police can get it more quickly, that would be better.
Bozak told us, “Caught a homicide guy. Two years ago off West 106th just off of our cameras.”
He also spoke about his system of cameras by saying, “I’ve had it for quite a while. The cameras just get better and better.”
While the plan is already getting a thumbs up on the street, the council committee sent the new ordinance to the full council for a vote.
The new proposal should go before the full council on Monday.