Home video devices help local law enforcement with crime fighting

Published 11:33 pm Saturday, June 24, 2017


NATCHEZ — Natchez Interim Chief of Police Shawn King encouraged residents Thursday to install doorbell cameras or similar types of surveillance tools.

King’s recommendation comes on the heels of an incident that occurred June 6, when the Adams County Sheriff’s Office was able to track down a suspect thanks in part to a local homeowner’s video doorbell. The resident’s identity will remain anonymous for safety reasons.

Email newsletter signup

The homeowner said security was not originally the motivation to purchase the video doorbell, which communicates with smartphones through Wi-Fi and sends notifications when motion is detected by the camera.

“Sometimes I just won’t hear someone knocking,” the homeowner said. “I installed it myself. It was really easy.”

But one night, the camera not only prevented a potential break-in, but also helped law enforcement to apprehend a wanted suspect, the homeowner said. While sound asleep, the resident received an alert that someone had been detected outside of the home.

The resident said the camera took “a short video clip” of the man outside, whom could be seen looking through the windows.

“I was able to, from my phone, forward that short video (to the sheriff’s office), and they were able to identify him,” the homeowner said.

The resident applauded the sheriff’s office for handling the situation diligently.

Although the sheriff’s office could not be reached for comment, King said Thursday he had spoken with Sheriff Travis Patten and confirmed that the video aided in catching the suspect.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” King said. “Going forward, I think that would be a tremendous asset to the homeowners here in Natchez-Adams County.

“That is a great tool not only in identifying suspects, but (also) in the apprehension of them.”

The homeowner said the benefits far outweigh the video doorbell’s cost.

“It ended up, in more than one way, being a life-saver,” the homeowner said.

King said he “strongly recommended” that homeowners consider installing these types of cameras if their means allow it, and said he plans to personally pass on these recommendations to residents at his next neighborhood watch program meeting.