The Blue Springs Police Department has begun a voluntary community video program to help solve crimes in the city by making video footage easier to track down.

“Blue Springs Watch” is a partnership in which businesses and citizens register their external security cameras with the Police Department.

By having such information on file, police can identify cameras that could help solve a crime or find a missing person that much quicker, then contact the home or business owners and possibly review such footage.

Grain Valley formalized such a program last fall, though it had been so in practice for some time, Chief of Police James Beale said. Independence and Kansas City police also have community camera registration programs.

Blue Springs Police said investigations into package thefts around the metro area last year showed the value of home security systems. This program is designed to help maximize that technology.

“This program is a good example of how we are working to find new ways to keep our city safe,” Blue Springs Chief of Police Bob Muenz said in a release. “With community participation we can obtain valuable suspect information faster and hopefully reduce the crime rate in Blue Springs.”

The program is not active surveillance, and owners retain all control of their systems. Only those system owners will be contacted and asked to provide copies of any video to law enforcement but are under no obligation to do so, police said.

Business owners and residents can obtain more information and register their systems at: www.bluespringsgov.com/bluespringswatch. For additional questions, call 816-228-0178 or email bluespringswatch@bluespringsgov.com.