Riverside PD implementing new ‘Virtual Block Watch’ program

Local News

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – Police in Riverside are rolling out a new Virtual Block Watch program as a way for the community and the police department to help prevent and investigate crimes.

Citizens can register their security cameras with police, which could help deter crime and protect the community.

In order to register your cameras, call or email the Riverside Police Department. From there, an officer will reach out to you and input the necessary information into their database.

Major Matthew Sturgeon of Riverside Police said they came up with the program in 2018.

They realized as technology was advancing, more companies and houses were installing their own surveillance cameras.

Now Riverside Police are hoping you will register your device with them, so when a crime happens, they don’t have to go door to door searching, hoping one caught something on video.

“In no way are we asking for access to their computers, we’re not asking for access to their systems in any way,” said Sturgeon. “We’re trying to put together a database that says ‘I have a camera, it covers either the interior or exterior of my home.”

Sturgeon said with major cases like Cheryl Coker’s disappearance, they will still canvas the area, talk to people, and look for all surveillance camera possibilities, but this would be a great starting point.

“It would just be a matter of ‘hey this happened in your area, please take a a look at your cameras’ and then we can just come and download off your system,” said Sturgeon.

Officers can also provide tips on which areas would be the best placement for your cameras.

Call Riverside Police at (937) 233-2080 for more information. You can also contact Major Sturgeon at mstrugeon@riversideoh.gov or Officer Toscani at ntoscani@riversideoh.gov with any questions.

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