The Whitecourt RCMP detachment has added an interesting new program to support its investigative activities with the CAPTURE program. The Community Assisted Policing Through Use of Recorded Evidence (CAPTURE) program is a relatively new initiative where residents and business owners in participating communities can register the locations of their security cameras with the police. The RCMP can then use this information to make a map of potential camera coverage that may be helpful when investigating an incident or crime.
An increasing number of Albertan communities have been implementing the CAPTURE program, including Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, and the City of Chestermere, among others. The Whitecourt program is open to residents of the town and the areas of Woodlands County served by the Whitecourt RCMP detachment.
Security camera usage is becoming more prevalent in various settings, particularly as the technology becomes more user-friendly and less expensive. They are an effective tool for crime prevention, protecting one’s family and safeguarding one’s property.
In terms of potential police investigations, security cameras could pick up footage of persons of interest, vehicle license plates, or other helpful information. Information picked up by a person’s security camera could also be beneficial in protecting one’s neighbours.
If the RCMP believes that information captured by a program participant’s camera may be helpful, they will contact that person and request access to the data (photos, video, footage). If the participant chooses to share the information, they can upload it through an online portal, or the RCMP will provide a storage device on which to save the data. One of the many advantages of this program is that after the relevant camera footage has been shared, police officers can easily access it at any time, regardless of their shift schedules.
Participation in the CAPTURE program is completely confidential; only the RCMP will have access to the database of registrants and their contact information. Even if footage from a registrant’s camera is used in an investigation, that registrant will remain anonymous.
The CAPTURE program is entirely voluntary. The choice is up to residents and business owners as to whether they would like to participate or not. Even after registering, participants are not obligated to share access to their security camera footage with the RCMP. Participants can also choose to end their involvement with the program at any time.
Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette