Intelligent Cities: leveraging tech, partners to enhance safety

January 14, 2020

The City of Kelowna is launching a CCTV Registry pilot program in partnership with the Kelowna RCMP and Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA). This voluntary registry will record the location of business security cameras within the boundaries of the DKA to provide Kelowna RCMP with quicker access to potential sources of video evidence.

Evidence to assist in a crime investigation can sometimes be recorded by a security camera. Currently, RCMP members must canvas areas in person when a crime occurs to determine if there are CCTV cameras that might have captured footage of vital evidence. It’s a process that consumes valuable time when expedience is critical in an investigation.

Through the CCTV Registry Pilot Program, businesses in the DKA can voluntarily register their security camera location(s) and contact information with the City through a secure database. The database will also include information about City of Kelowna CCTV cameras located on City property.

The initiative has been reviewed and cleared by the Privacy Commissioner Office of BC.

“If an incident occurs, the RCMP can identify registered CCTV cameras in the area and ask camera owners if the footage can be secured to provide sometimes pivotal evidence faster,” said Darren Caul, Director of Community Safety for the City. “It’s a natural partnership and yet another innovative tool for the RCMP in their service to our community.”

The CCTV Registry Pilot Program is one of the City’s Intelligent City initiatives – innovative partnerships and collaborative efforts to find ways to improve the lives of residents through access to online services, technological innovation and collaborative problem-solving.

“This initiative meets all of those criteria,” said Andreas Boehm, Intelligent Cities Manager for the City. “And while initially we anticipate it will significantly reduce the time and resources spent physically going around locating and soliciting potentially vital video evidence, it could lead to other positive crime reduction and sense of safety outcomes down the road.”

“We are very pleased to partner with the City and the DKA on this pilot project,” said RCMP Superintendent Brent Mundle. “Not only does it give us the opportunity to maximize the efficiencies of resources through an intelligence-led model, it supports crime prevention and exemplifies partnerships for more effective policing and community safety.”

DKA Executive Director Mark Burley encourages business members to participate in the program. “We’ve made it simple for businesses to sign up and we believe the initiative is a win-win partnership for everyone involved as we work together to create a safer downtown for our businesses and their customers,” said Burley.

To maintain the security of the database, partnership members will visit DKA members in person to describe the program and how to sign up for the registry. The DKA will also contact all its members through email to ensure they have the information needed to sign up for the program.

Anyone can visit kelowna.ca/safety at any time for information about taking action on community safety initiatives.

For more information about Intelligent Cities and associated initiatives, visit kelowna.ca/intelligentcity.