LITTLE ELM — In the age of constant and ubiquitous video surveillance, using that kind of “virtual eyewitness” technology has become another tool in combating crime and solving criminal cases.


Little Elm Police Department’s new Video Crime Watch Program asks for cooperation from residents, property management companies, and business owners who may have a surveillance system on their property. The program creates and maintains a town-wide database of cameras whose owners register the devices, Police Sergeant Marcus Maxie said.


Individuals or businesses who register for Video Crime Watch are placed in the database sorted by location. When an incident occurs near the address on record, a request is issued by the police for the camera operators to review their footage. Should the homeowner or business owner determine that their footage may be of assistance, they will alert investigators, who will then ask to review it or make a copy.


“It’s a proven fact that acting quickly after a crime is committed increases the chances of solving it,” Maxie said. “Obviously, the use of video footage can add another level of reliability to that process. In addition, video evidence aids immeasurably in making and closing cases.”


An application to participate in the program is necessary, and there is no charge to participants.


“There are more and more video surveillance systems in place throughout town, and the evidence they might contain can be critical when investigating a crime,” he said.


More information on the program can be obtained by contacting the Little Elm Police Department at (214) 975- 0460 during regular business hours. An online registration for the program is available at http://www.littleelm.org/FormCenter/Police-4/Video-Crime-Watch-Program-37.