What is the purpose of the Spokane County Sentinel camera registration program?
The program aims to enhance public safety by creating a database of privately owned security cameras. This aids law enforcement in quickly identifying and contacting potential witnesses of sources of video footage in the vicinity of a crime.
How does the registration process work?
Businesses, organizations, or individuals can voluntarily register their security cameras with the Sheriff’s Office by providing basic information about their system and contact details. Registration is handled entirely online here: https://refer.flocksafety.com/spokane-sentinel/
Is participation in the program mandatory?
No. Participation is entirely voluntary. Businesses, organizations, and individuals can choose to register their security cameras to support community safety, but it is not a requirement.
What information is collected during registration?
The registration process collects information such as the camera locations and views, number of cameras, and owner contact details.
How is my privacy protected?
The collected information is treated with the utmost confidentiality and is only accessed by law enforcement when there is a specific incident in the area. The program is designed to respect privacy rights, and the information is not shared or used for purposes other than public safety.
Can law enforcement access my camera feed without my knowledge?
No. Camera registration does not give law enforcement direct access to your camera feeds. Law enforcement may contact registered participants to request access to footage only if there is a relevant incident, and participation is entirely voluntary. If you would like to share live camera feeds with the Sheriff’s Office, please see the camera integration section.
Is there any cost involved in registering my cameras?
No. Registration is free of charge. The camera registration program is designed to encourage community involvement in public safety without imposing any financial burden on participants.
How is the collected information used during investigations?
The information is used solely for law enforcement purposes to identify potential sources of video evidence in the vicinity of a crime. It aids investigations and helps law enforcement respond more effectively to incidents.
How can I encourage my neighbors to participate in the program?
Spread the word about the program through community forums, social media, or neighborhood meetings. Emphasize the collective impact on public safety and the community’s ability to work together with law enforcement.
Camera Integration – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the camera integration program?
The program facilitates the seamless integration of live video streams from businesses and organizations with situational awareness software already used by most law enforcement agencies within Spokane County. This integration improves law enforcement’s ability to respond to incidents quickly and efficiently.
How can businesses and organizations participate in the camera integration program?
Businesses and organizations can participate by clicking the “Integrate Your Camera” on the Spokane County Sentinel webpage and submitting your contact information. You will be contacted by an employee of our trusted technology partner, Flock Safety, to facilitate the integration of your cameras. The technical aspect of integrating your cameras is handled entirely by Flock Safety.
What types of cameras are compatible with the integration program?
Most modern IP-based security camera systems used in commercial environments can be integrated. Some proprietary systems may not allow for integration. Integration strategies vary based on the types of cameras used. A representative from Flock Safety will work with you to determine the best way to integrate your cameras.
Is participation in the program mandatory?
No. Participation is entirely voluntary. Businesses and organizations can integrate their cameras to contribute to community and employee safety, but it is not a requirement.
Can I choose to only integrate some of my cameras and not others?
Absolutely. Businesses and organizations choosing to integrate their cameras are not required to share all of their camera feeds. Typically, only those camera feeds that have a high value to law enforcement are shared; this generally includes exterior cameras and select interior cameras in areas accessible to the public (lobbies, reception areas, checkout areas, etc.). Businesses and organizations decide which camera feeds they wish to share at the time of integration. The Sheriff’s Office does not integrate cameras installed in any location where an individual may have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The integration process protects the privacy and security of participating businesses and organizations.
Will the Sheriff’s Office monitor my cameras and respond if they see criminal activity?
No. Integrated camera feeds are not regularly monitored and are only accessed when there is an indication criminal activity may be occurring at or near the location of your business or organization. Continue to report crimes to 911 or Crime Check as appropriate. As law enforcement responds to calls for service, your integrated cameras may be accessed to assess the situation better and provide first responders with critical information prior to their arrival.
Is there a cost to integrate my cameras?
Yes. Costs can vary depending on the number of cameras and the type of system to be integrated. For most systems, the cost is $400 annually for up to 16 camera feeds. Payment is handled entirely through Flock Safety and covers all hardware and labor for installation.
How can businesses and organizations promote the camera integration program within their community?
Businesses and organizations can encourage participation by sharing information about the program through local business networks, industry associations, and community events. Emphasize the collective impact on public safety and the potential to deter and respond to criminal activity more effectively.