The Knoxville Police Department recently launched a new program that partners with the community to help solve crimes.

The Knoxville Camera Program allows community members who own security cameras to register the devices with the police department. In the case that a crime happens near a registered security camera, KPD will reach out to the owner and ask if the cameras caught anything on tape.

The idea for the program came to Community Service Officer Enne Worrall over the summer, while she was conducting Operation Clean Sweep. Upon visiting every home within city limits, she noticed multiple people had security cameras installed outside.

Worrall knew of other police departments in the Des Moines metro area with programs similar to the Knoxville Camera Program. After gathering addresses of residents during Operation Clean Sweep and compiling them into a spreadsheet, Worrall decided it was time to bring the program to Knoxville.

“I think it’s a great thing for residents to feel like they’re doing something to help,” Worrall said. “I’m excited to see more people sign up.”

“It’s another way that we can partner with the community in an attempt to solve more crimes,” added Lieutenant Aaron Fuller.

Worrall and Fuller stress that the Knoxville Camera Program is completely voluntary. If a crime takes place in an area with a registered camera, the KPD will ask the owner if anything appears on the footage. The program is only to make officers aware where cameras might be located when attempting to solve crimes.

“It’s all volunteer and we’ll only come to them if we think something happened in that area,” Worrall said. “Then, it’s completely up to them at that point. They get the right to show us or not.”

“We’re not going to request access to your camera,” Fuller said. “We’re not going to take over or seize anything. It’s impossible for us to abuse this.”

Worrall says the program already has around 15 people registered, but she is hoping to see the number increase. Security cameras can be registered on the city’s website, or in person at KPD or City Hall.

Any questions about the Knoxville Camera Program can be directed to Enne Worrall or to any personnel at KPD.

Emma Skahill can be reached at eskahill@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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