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La Vista residents can now register their home surveillance cameras with the La Vista Police Department.

Another set of eyes, or in this case a camera lens, is aimed at helping the La Vista Police Department catch more bad guys.

LVPD is partnering with residents and businesses in the city as part of the new Security Camera Registration Program. The program was launched in late August and already has 12 partners.

SCRAM gives residents and business owners the opportunity to register their surveillance camera systems with the department. That camera may contain evidence that is vital in helping LVPD capture criminals in the vicinity and LVPD may contact the individual or business to review the footage.

“The camera can pick up something that may be important to us,” LVPD Chief Bob Lausten said. “If there is activity going on in the neighborhood, the camera may show us something.

“In the old days, we’d have to walk the neighborhood asking if anybody saw anything. This allows us to be more efficient.”

Lausten said there have been instances where the use of surveillance cameras helped deter criminal activity.

“We had an officer who was involved in a shooting a few years back where we got a camera that showed a suspect trying to force his way into someone’s home,” he said. “We would never have known about that if not for the camera.”

Lausten said he heard about the program while attending a conference this summer. La Vista is the first department in the area to utilize SCRAM.

“It’s really taking off around the country and we’re hoping this helps it gain steam around here,” Lausten said. “We’ve put it out on social media and our officers are handing out to flyers to homeowners.”

The department stresses that any footage obtained would be for official department use only. Registration in the program does not give LVPD remote or direct access to the surveillance system.

Any surveillance system is applicable to the program, although LVPD recommends using ones with higher resolution and have cameras facing entrance and exit points.

As criminals have become more creative over the years, Lausten said departments must find new avenues to travel in curbing criminal activity.

“The criminals are setting the playing rules and we’re trying to catch up,” Lausten said. “If something like this helps us catch one more criminal, it’s worth it.”

Registration is free and can be done online at cityoflavista.org or in person at LVPD, 7701 S. 96th St. Lausten added that the partnership can be terminated at any time by the individual or business.

For more information, contact Stacy Corbit at 402-331-1582 or via email at scorbit@cityoflavista.org.

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