Project Eyes on the Block
The Billings Police Department is getting ready to launch Project Eyes on the Block, a program that creates a partnership between the Police Department and the public.
The program informs officers of residents or business owners that would like to share their surveillance footage with the Police Department when a crime or incident occurs in their area.
Project Eyes on the Block will allow Officers access to vital information that could speed up the process of searching for evidence linked to criminal activity.
“A lot of people have doorbell cameras and cameras set up around their residence or business. By signing up for Project Eyes on the Block, the resident is basically saying if something occurs that the Police are investigating an officer can contact them to review footage to see if anything tied to a crime or incident was caught on camera,” explained Sgt. Nate West of the Billings Police Department.
Anyone interested in participating will need to fill out an online form with their name, address, phone number, camera brand, and number of cameras on their property. (Form will open in new tab and have a URL ending in 'billingsgis.com/portal'.)
Participant information is only viewable by police officers and community service officers with the Billings Police Department.
Signing up for the program does not grant officers remote access to surveillance footage or mandate that video be shared. In cases where the police department is seeking video evidence, an officer will contact a participant and set up a time to review any potentially relevant footage.
In the case evidence is caught on camera, the officer will request a copy of the video file.
“It could be as simple as us showing up, looking at their video and seeing there’s nothing there, or asking for a copy of it,” said Sgt. West.