More and more cities across the U.S. are developing a network of privately-owned surveillance cameras to aid the community in preventing crimes and help police in solving them. Now, Cedar Rapids police are encouraging residents to help build a network here.

The new program could be viewed as Neighborhood Watch on Steroids. If cameras in your neighborhood are on the city registry and a crime occurs at your home, police could then view surveillance images from registered cameras to help solve the crime. Police could only look at the images with the camera owner's consent, and only to help investigate a crime. Information on what homes have cameras tied to the city database would not be made public.

A growing number of cities are already doing what Cedar Rapids is now embarking on. For instance, Chicago police were aided by more than 48 security cameras last month when investigating the Jussie Smollet case. The city has more than 32,000 cameras on their network, including privately-owned ones.

If you'd like to register your surveillance cameras with the Cedar Rapids Police Department, you can do so HERE. There are no minimum camera equipment requirements and cameras are not inspected by police.

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