DANVILLE — Mahoning Township Police Chief Fred Dyroff has announced the launch of a "community camera program," which would allow residents and business owners to register the location of their video surveillance systems with the Mahoning Township Police Department to help deter and fight crime in the community.

Through this camera registration program, Dyroff explained at Monday evening's township meeting, "the police department will be able to identify locations of cameras that are near crime scenes and contact residents for video surveillance footage." 

There is absolutely no cost to register security cameras, Dyroff noted. Registration is completely voluntary and can be canceled at any time. 

"Once registered a member of the Mahoning Police Department will contact you to verify the information," he said. "You will only be contacted by the police if there is an incident in the vicinity of your security cameras. In the event that a crime does occur near your registered camera, you may be contacted by the police department, who will request a copy of the video and/or images captured by your camera over a designated time period that could assist in the investigation."

Information provided to the police department regarding a camera system will be for official use only, Dyroff continued. Personal information will remain confidential and will not be distributed except when required by law or court order.

Contact the police department with any questions about the program, he said. 

Dyroff stressed that if people register their cameras, "we will not have remote access to those systems whatsoever. They have their own systems and we can't tap into them. We're not asking for links to their system. If a camera captures something that would assist us in an investigation, in that case we would ask if the camera owner would turn captured video over to us. All we want is a video or still image of an incident we are investigating."

Township supervisor T.S. Scott asked if people and businesses "just outside of the township, say in Cooper Township ... wanted to be a part of this?"

"I'd be willing to register systems in Cooper, and even in Danville Borough, absolutely," Dyroff said. "There could be someone in a car involved in a crime in Mahoning Township, but the driver has gone into Danville, for instance. We would like to get that information. So we would welcome those people and businesses. At no cost."

People should be able to register using the department's website. Under police department click on useful links and it will be there, Dyroff said.

Also in his report, Dyroff noted that there were 360 incidents in January. As the weather gets better, he said, "people are starting to come out, so we are getting busier and busier."

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