APD Amping Up its Digital Surveillance


The Alameda Police Department (APD) has launched a new program to help reduce crime in the city. 

The new program is called the We S.E.E. or Share Electronic Evidence program. The program allows APD to quickly identify nearby cameras that may have captured evidence, helping solve crimes across the Island. 

When a crime occurs, APD’s investigation includes checking with nearby residents and businesses to determine if there is camera footage available. Many Alameda businesses are equipped with security cameras, and residents are adding video doorbells and other surveillance to their homes. These cameras may be capturing vital information that can be used to solve crimes. 

Cameras owned by businesses and residents will only be a part of the program voluntarily. Recently, APD has resolved investigations involving package thefts, a Peeping Tom and assault with a deadly weapon using evidence obtained from private cameras. The program will allow business owners and residents to register their cameras, which will expedite the process of obtaining vital evidence.

The new program comes after APD’s annual crime update report was released (“Police Provide 2017 Crime Report to Council,” Feb. 1). The report revealed reported crime in Alameda spiked about 12 percent in 2017. There were 5,075 crimes reported in 2017, compared to 4,514 crime reports in 2016. In fact, 2017 had the most crimes reported in Alameda this decade. According to the report, petty and grand thefts are the cause for the increase in Part 1 offenses. There were 681 grand thefts reported in 2017, compared to 544 in 2016. Even more significant there were 1,044 petty thefts reported in 2017, compared to 807 in 2016.  

The We S.E.E. program may not be the only effort APD is taking to combat crime. After the Alameda Sun deadline Tuesday, City Council voted whether to approve a program that will place license plate recognition systems over every roadway into and out of Alameda. APD currently uses a similar system on its patrol cars.

There is also a push to increase the amount of license plate readers mounted on patrol cars from four to as many as 13. APD credits these cameras with catching thieves driving stolen vehicles. 

Registered information will only be shared with APD. APD assures they will only access the location of the camera, not the owner’s security system. Registered parties will only be contacted by APD if a review of their footage could assist in crime solving. To register a camera with the We S.E.E. program, visit www.goo.gl/a9ERwR.