Want to help the city fight crime? You’ll soon have a new way to help.

Ring Doorbell Camera
Ring Doorbell Camera(WLOX)
Updated: Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If your home or business has a video surveillance camera, you could soon be able to help the city of Jackson fight crime.

The city recently began a pilot program with the PILEUM and FUSUS corporations, to provide a platform to provide the police department access to private surveillance.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said if home and business owners are willing, they could give the city permission to access camera systems, like Ring, through the platform, and the city could use the data collected to track criminal activity.

He said the city would not have access to cameras without owners' permission and would only be able to access the devices when crimes occur in those areas.

“Ultimately, what will happen is residents and businesses will be able to sign a waiver, if they want their camera to be accessed from the Real Time Crime Center,” he said. “It would save (us) from having to buy a camera for every place across the city.”

The city council signed off on entering the pilot program at its Tuesday meeting. The equipment needed to allow the center access to cameras is being provided by PILEUM and FUSUS.

PILEUM is a Jackson-based information technology consulting company founded in 2002, according to its website. FUSUS, a Georgia-based company, provides cloud services to allow real time crime centers to extract video information, its website states.

“FUSUS allows us to connect into cameras,” he said. “If someone says, ‘I want my Ring door camera to be used,’ we’ll be able to use it.”

Under terms of the agreement, the companies will provide the platform to connect to cameras, and will provide access up to five city-owned and five privately owned recording devices, according to city documents. It was unclear whether those cameras must already connect to the internet, or if the cameras will have to be modified to connect to the new platform.

Lumumba said that with the program, once a crime is reported, crime center officials will be able to access cameras in the area to determine escape routes, look for getaway vehicles and the like.

“We’ll be able to get a location, draw a circle around it and pull up every camera within a certain radius to see if someone runs out of a building,” he said. “We can follow and trace them.”

The pilot program will be for 45 days and will be of no cost to the city.

The mayor said it’s too early to determine whether the city would continue the contract after that time.

The news comes as the city grapples with its deadliest year on record.

According to WLBT and FBI figures, 110 homicides have been reported in the city.

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