Police Department Offers Security Cameras for Personal/Business Use

Photo: CNET

Security Cameras Available Thanks to Community-Raised Funds

For those seeking an extra level of safety at their home or business, Marshfield Police Department is offering wireless audio/video surveillance camera rentals at a low cost. Designed by a company called “Ring,” the cameras are activated when someone perpetrates a designated area (such as a front door).

For example, if a delivery person is at a person’s front door, the camera will start recording. An additional benefit, audio capabilities allow for a resident to communicate with the delivery person without having to open or even approach the door.

“I learned of the idea through Greenfield Police Department, through a friend in Milwaukee who was trying to find a way to help citizens feels more safe and secure after they’ve been victimized,” said Police Chief Rick Gramza. “We saw this as a great opportunity to partner with some of the people in the community who aren’t feeling safe.”

Cameras are wifi operated and include an app for smartphones to allow the user to access the footage at any time. Users are welcome to install the cameras themselves, but the Police Department is also available to assist. Users are asked to cover a $3/month cloud storage fee, which enables them to use a computer or smartphone to view anything that is recorded. (For residents without wifi, the Department has other security options available.)

Using funds raised by the public and allocated for community safety and crime prevention, the department initially purchased 40 cameras and will begin distributing them by request, with the intent to order more as need arises.

“We are handing them out to the public with the condition that whenever we need some of the video they are capturing we can see that no questions asked,” said Gramza, adding that the department is working with organizations such as Personal Development Center (PDC), who have candidates that could benefit from the cameras.

“Though we don’t want people to be dependent on technology to feel safe, and though having a camera is not fixing the problem, it does help address part of the problem that is affecting someone’s peace of mind,” said Gramza. “It’s for businesses, too. If a business has been burglarized or vandalized in some way, these cameras just provide added security to help that business.”

Cameras will be disseminated on a situation-dependent basis, and about every six months the department will evaluate to see if the user’s situation has improved and whether the camera is still needed.

“Our focus is helping the community feel safe and protected by law enforcement, but also to feel safe and protected and have that added peace of mind at any point of the day,” said Gramza. “If this small investment can help the people in the community feel like they have our support, and if this piece of equipment can help them live a normal life, it’s well worth the investment.”

Those interested in implementing a camera in their home or business can contact the Marshfield Police Department at 715-384-0800.

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