POLSON — We are committed to a partnership with members and guests of our community that inspires confidence in all to make Polson a safe and pleasant place to live, work, learn and play. Our idea of community policing is an organization-wide philosophy and management approach that promotes community, government and police partnerships, proactive problem solving, and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and other community issues. This is why we are asking members of Polson to participate in our new surveillance camera registration program.
Your officers are committed to producing positive results that preserve the peace, prevent crime and disorder. Often your officers conduct neighborhood canvasses in an effort to identify all the involved individuals in an incident; this often includes locating and collecting video surveillance footage. Videos are terrific evidence that aids in building criminal cases. We are the first tier in the criminal justice system and we place the utmost pride in presenting the prosecutors’ office with the best cases that we can. Video surveillance helps to strengthen our cases by aiding in the identification of individuals and perhaps even capturing the criminal act.
Your Polson Police Department is asking all businesses and citizens to register your surveillance system with us. By register we mean just let us know you have a camera at your address and how to get into contact with you. We are not asking to “tap into” or “remotely use” your system. We are only asking to let us know you have a camera so if a crime occurs in or around your neighborhood, we make sure to speak with you in an effort to see if your cameras recorded anything useful to the investigation. We would like to continue strengthening our bond with the community we serve; together we can make a positive difference for Polson.
We are not demanding that you register your privately-owned surveillance cameras with the PPD; we are only asking you let us know if you have a camera so we can contact you for help if the need arises. The mission of the PPD is to earn the public’s trust, without exception, by contributing to the peaceful harmony of our community. Your PPD has achieved its reputation as an outstanding department because community trust has been earned. We will continue to safeguard that trust. We will continue to operate in a manner that inspires respect and trust, this surveillance camera registration program will be no different.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What information does the PPD need from me?
A: Contact Name, Phone Number, Email, Address of Business or Residence, Number of Cameras
Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: It is FREE.
Q: I don’t have an elaborate surveillance system. Can or should I register my RING Doorbell?
A: Yes. We highly encourage everyone to register all cameras and RING Doorbells are especially helpful.
Q: How do I register?
A: For your convenience there are a number of ways to register:
1. Go online to https://www.cityofpolson.com/police/webform/surveillance-camera-registration-form and complete the short online form.
2. In person by coming to City Hall 106 1st Street E, Polson, MT 59860.
3. By calling the PPD at (406) 883-8211 and having an officer take your information over the phone.
4. By calling, (406) 883-7301, to have an officer come speak with you in person.
Q: What happens to my information when I register?
A: The information you provided during registration goes into a secured area within the PPD and will only be accessed by law enforcement personnel.
Q: How will the surveillance footage be used by the PPD?
A: When the PPD is investigating a crime in your area you will be contacted by an officer. That officer will make arrangements, at a time convenient for you, to sit down with you and review the footage. If the footage contains any video or images useful to the investigation the officer will ask for a copy for the case file.
Q: Do I have to participate? Is this mandatory if I own a camera?
A: Absolutely not. It is completely 100% voluntary and you can withdraw from the program at any time.
Q: Will the PPD be able to monitor what my camera sees?
A: Absolutely not. The PPD is not asking to “tap into” your surveillance system. We are not asking for your passwords or direct access to your system.
Q: Should I register cameras at my business?
A: Yes, please do.