MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department has rolled out a new tool Wednesday to help citizens fight crime and stay safe.

Connect Memphis is a program where businesses and homeowners with cameras allow MPD direct access to their security feed in case of an emergency or to help with an investigation.

“Before the program, if a detective needs to investigate a crime the detective needs to go to [the scene] and download the footage, which sometimes takes hours. Now, he can do it at his desktop,” said Joe Oakley, Deputy Chief of Information Systems.

Monitored in MPD’s Real Time Crime Center, the system can be utilized during real-time events, like large gatherings and natural disasters. 

As far as privacy concerns go, MPD says the department only has access to what someone allows them to have.

Chief CJ Davis says this is strictly on a volunteer basis. “I think our community members will be surprised to see how their efforts to give us evidence helps us to build those relationships to make a safer city.”

Jim Stirickland, Memphis’ mayor, says the program has been successful in other large cities like Atlanta.

“We could go from 3,500 to 20,000 cameras total. More eyes on the street to help MPD,” said Strickland.

To learn more about the Connect Memphis Program, visit Connect2Memphis.org