By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
A camera registry program is being investigated in Coalhurst.
During Coalhurst town council’s regular Feb. 7 meeting, Coun. Scott Akkermans requested a motion to have town CAO Jeff Coffman investigate establishing a CAPTURE program in Coalhurst, with consideration for involving neighbouring municipalities in the project.
CAPTURE, or Community Assisted Policing Through Use of Recorded Evidence, is a program that creates a directory of cameras, such as doorbell and external cameras, in a community. If there is an incident in the community, the RCMP could then look up in the database who has a camera in the area that may have captured the incident, and can contact the individual/business to ask if they would be willing to volunteer to share their footage.
“There’s other municipalities in Alberta that RCMP runs a program called CAPTURE,” said Akkermans. “Given the experience in other Alberta municipalities, such as Red Deer, Foothills County and Slave Lake, this is positive tool and a simple, proactive action residents can take to support local crime suppression.”
CAPTURE is a voluntary program that people can sign up for, and everyone has the option of whether or not to provide the recorded information.
The database will only have the camera owner’s contact information, not information on the camera itself. The RCMP would need permission from the camera’s owner to get the footage, and would not have access to any live feeds.
“I know that some people might be hesitant to provide that information to the RCMP, but from my understanding, it’s on a (permission) basis. So, if something does happen, the RCMP would contact the individual, and then at the time they’ll have the choice to either provide it or not provide it, and they wouldn’t be obligated to, if they didn’t want to.”
Akkermans noted that he had spoken to someone in the Foothills CAPTURE program, and they told him their community really enjoys it and they feel a little bit safer.
Coun. Heather Caldwell voiced support for the program, asking what the uptake was in other communities. Akkermans said while he didn’t have any quantifiable numbers on that, his conversations with people had indicated that residents in those communities felt safer.
Council unanimously passed a motion to instruct the CAO to investigate establishing a CAPTURE program in Coalhurst, with consideration for involving neighbouring municipalities in the project.