LINO LAKES, Minn. (WCCO) – A growing crime-fighting trend between police departments and the communities they serve has reached a new Minnesota city.

Lino Lakes police are calling on homeowners and businesses to register their surveillance cameras with the department.

“Earlier in the summer, we had a string of theft from motor vehicles, kind of occurring down here on Arrowhead Drive,” said Officer Alexander Hallin, with the Lino Lakes Police Department.

At least eight cars were hit on the Lino Lakes road, and getting a look at the person responsible wasn’t easy.

“We’re driving around trying to track down people who might have a Ring doorbell (camera) that we don’t even know about,” Officer Hallin said.

It’s one reason why Hallin started the department’s community camera program. Homeowners or businesses with surveillance equipment sign up, creating a list of people ready to share what their cameras recorded if a crime happened nearby. People are asked to identify where their cameras are located and how long video is stored.

“It’s important that we get a jump start on things and us reaching out to them in a timely manner is very efficient for us to get information back and move forward with the investigation,” Hallin said.

Several neighboring police departments, including Coon Rapids, have a similar program. Those registered get a sticker for their door, including Capt. Jon Urquhart.

“We had a theft of a vehicle and I immediately recognized the address as near where I live, so I immediately went to my doorbell camera,” Capt. Urquhart said.

The video he captured on home surveillance is now part of the investigation.

“We’re trying to create those partnerships with our community for them to help us make them safe,” Urquhart said.

With Officer Hallin’s help, Lino Lakes is now another one of those communities.

“I think this is gonna really take off with a lot of police departments,” Hallin said.

Several other cities and counties have similar programs, including Minneapolis, Blaine and Maplewood.

To sign up in Lino Lakes, visit the city’s website.

To learn more about the Coon Rapids program, click here.

Jeff Wagner

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