Chesapeake Police try new program to catch criminals

WAVY/Liz Palka

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The Chesapeake Police Department has started a new program called “CUSTODY,” which is a twist on a neighborhood watch program.

Residents and businesses can voluntarily sign up for “CUSTODY” by clicking here. The program gives police the chance to work with the community to solve crimes and gather leads on investigations.

Investigators are looking for people with surveillance cameras on their property who would be willing to work with police if a crime happens nearby.

“People have already volunteered into the program,” said Ben Orasko, a Crime Analysis Specialist for the Chesapeake Police Department. “I’m able to map out the locations of where the cameras are.”

Orasko said, with permission, police can then search through the footage to see if the crime or suspect was caught on camera.

Information would stay private and go through few hands within the investigations unit in the police department. The only time investigators might seek you out is if they think your camera might have caught a crime.

“CUSTODY” is new to the Chesapeake Police Department. The program launched within the last two weeks and the department started promoting it Wednesday. Residents and businesses alike are already signing up.

Orasko said the department needs many people and businesses to get involved if they’re willing.

“The more people that volunteer into the program, the more area we’re going to cover,” said Orasko. “The more crimes we’re going to be able to snag.”

Chesapeake is the first police department in Hampton Roads to create a program like CUSTODY. A police spokeswoman said other jurisdictions have called to ask questions about it just in its first week.

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