Community policing: Protect your neighborhood with SCRAM
Dickinson Police Department would like to remind citizens of the SCRAM program and how it helps solve community crimes. With the outpouring response of the community’s vigilance on DPD’s porch pirate investigation, citizens have volunteered video footage and DPD would like to continue adding citizens and businesses to this program especially during the holiday season to solve crimes.
If you have a doorbell camera or security system, did you know that you can become directly involved in Dickinson’s community crime fighting effort?
The Dickinson Police Department are persuading citizens and businesses to become volunteers of the Surveillance Camera Registration and Mapping Program. The SCRAM program is completely voluntary and allows for community members to help solve crimes as they happen in their neighborhoods, creating a faster way for law enforcement to hunt criminals down and arrest them, Dickinson Police Department Sgt. Brandon Stockie said.
Stockie, who is the SCRAM coordinator, said that the program will only request volunteers for their contact information and the location of the cameras. Stockie and his team will then input all of those points of contact on a map of the city of Dickinson — such as listing the volunteer’s address, detailing which way their cameras face, etc. DPD will only ask to review a volunteer’s cameras if a crime occurs within the suspected view of one of the volunteer citizen’s cameras and will not involve law enforcement actively monitoring a citizen’s surveillance system.
“It’s all voluntary. We don’t have access to them, it just gives us a map of surveillance where cameras are located in the city,” Stockie said. “So that way if we have (a crime) like we had last weekend with people stealing packages and stuff like that, we could approach doors and knock on who has surveillance cameras.”
From burglary and theft to assault and more, the “sky’s the limit for what kind of crimes” this program can solve and aids law enforcement with unmasking criminals in a timely manner, Stockie noted. By registering cameras before a crime occurs, DPD will be able to identify addresses that may have captured crucial evidence when a crime is committed, which in turn, enhances law enforcement’s prospects of solving that crime.
With the recent porch pirate investigation, the SCRAM program is boosting community vigilance and awareness — something Stockie said helps.
Currently, there are roughly 150 volunteers enrolled in the SCRAM program though it comprises mainly businesses at the moment. But Stockie is hoping more people from the community, who have doorbell cameras or surveillance cameras, will want to be more attentive to what happens in their area and help police their own community.
“It just helps us with what happens in the community so we know where those cameras are located,” Stockie said. “... It just helps the citizens become involved in us solving those crimes faster.”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer for the SCRAM program while exercising your vigilance for your neighborhood, visit dickinsonpd.com/scram.