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Lansing police look to leverage private security cameras in solving crimes

Posted at 12:25 PM, Dec 22, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Lansing police are working to get more residents and business owners involved in a security camera initiative that they say will help solve crimes and keep the community safer.

“Citizens, businesses that have cameras, we’re asking for them to let us know you have a camera, because in an event that there’s a crime or an incident in the general area, you may be able to capture that incident on camera,” said Robert Merritt, spokesman for the Lansing Police department.

The Lansing Police Department’s Security Camera Registry and Mapping program, also known as SCRAM, was created in 2017 and police say they’ve gotten a lot of support and helpful tips since.

In November, for instance, a suspect and car were identified after a fatal hit and run. Police said a nearby house had a SCRAM camera.

“It was a huge success for SCRAM," Merritt said. Without the camera, the investigation would've had few leads.

Owner of Mo Cuts Barbershop Michael Ogden said when customers come in, he makes sure they get three things, a fresh hair cut, a confidence boost and good conversation.

“It’s our country club, you know? When guys come in here, they feel like they’re part of something,” he said “We know them, we give them a nickname sometime and we’re all one family in here.”

Odgen said it’s his responsibility to keep his customers safe, which is why he said he’ll be taking part in the SCRAM.

“You know, it’s just to protect people in the Lansing area and our customers and there is so much going on,” Ogden said. “If people wouldn’t have caught it with a camera or a phone, it could have went bad for either party.”

Residents and business owners can sign up for SCRAM at any time. Police said they want to make it clear that, if you do sign up, you’re more than welcome to walk away from the initiative at any time.

Lansing police say their goal is to make everyone feel safe, while also respecting privacy.

“At no point are we manipulating or zooming in on someone’s security camera,” Merritt said.