Williamson Co. Sheriff's Office launches community camera program

"You bet, absolutely." That was how the manager of Rough and Ready Antiques in Georgetown responded, after we asked would she be registering their surveillance cameras with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday they launched a video surveillance camera registration program, asking residents to register their privately owned surveillance cameras.

There are agencies that neighbor Williamson County’s Sheriff's Office that are already doing this.

"Just knowing you have a camera is all that we are asking for. We can go to our IT department and say what businesses and homes are registered in our area, we would go to the home and say hey you're registered in our system, could you give us permission to access this camera on this day or view it with us. Whatever the premise is."

Sheriff Chody says surveillance cameras catch several different types of crimes.

He says the most common is car burglaries.

The program could help track down door package thieves and window peepers.

“And if you have a camera you're recording your front yard and a little bit of the street, we would like to know that because if we have a crime in a certain part of a neighborhood and we know that there's a camera system in the area, and determine if any of a crime was captured on video,” Sheriff Chody adds.

Sheriff Chody says the department would then ask permission if they can use the video to locate the suspect. He says this was very helpful last week when there was an alleged attempted kidnapping.

The child was able to get away, but Sheriff Chody says surveillance video helps piece together the big picture. "I understand the paranoia but if they don't feel comfortable we don't want them signing up for it." 

The manager of Rough and Ready Antiques says not too long ago their cameras caught two people outside of the store, and when they made eye contact with the cameras they mouthed the words, "let’s get out of here."

"I have a son who owns Saber Security out of Round Rock and I know the stories he tells about how much crime is solved because it's on camera. So I just totally support it anything we can do to support it."

To register your camera, log onto the Williamson County Sheriff's website, here.