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Police Department brings a modern twist to the neighborhood watch

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NITRO, WV (WOWK) – Neighborhood watch programs have been around for years, but one community in our area is giving that idea a modern twist.

People who live in Nitro and have a surveillance camera can contact the city police department and be added to their database. It is a voluntary program they are hoping will catch on.

“We are building an interactive map,” explained Major Jason Garbin. “Whenever there is crime in a certain area we have contact information and we are able to contact that person and say ‘hey we think something happened somewhere between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. do you care to check your surveillance camera and see if you see anything.'”

When individuals sign-up they give basic information like an address and phone number.

“It is a neighborhood watch but it is a neighborhood watch where people don’t have to get out of their house walk around and do any of that,” Garbin said.

With surveillance systems becoming less expensive and more available he said the idea just makes sense.

“It is not unusual to go down most any street and you’d be hard-pressed to not find at least one or two cameras on any given street,” said Chief Chris Fleming.

While surveillance video could help solve any number of crimes they got the idea after several car break-ins a few weeks ago.

“A lot of times we are reactive,” Garbin said. “We get calls especially with B and E autos we end up finding out in the morning. People go out to go to work and find out that their stuff has been taken or gone through.”

The idea is that information from those surveillance cameras could help catch the culprit faster and deter future crime. If you want to sign up click here.

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