Sachse surveillance camera partnership calms minds of property owners




Posted on February 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 23 at 10:52 AM

SACHSE -- Smile when you stroll through Park Lake Estates in Sachse, or at least don't do anything silly.

"I've got a camera at my entrance, so if someone comes to my front door, I get a close up of their face," said Chad Klodner. He has three cameras on his home.

"Just a general feeling of security," he said, "a deterrent."

Sachse Police Chief Dennis Veach has a surveillance camera on his home, too. When it detects motion, it snaps a crystal-clear picture.

The first night he had it, he said he got 875 photos of his cat. But someday, he might get a picture of a criminal.

"Surveillance cameras used to be so expensive. You can get one for $75 now. You can have a record of who is hanging around your home," he said. "I think it's the future of crime prevention."

Sachse is one of the first cities in North Texas to capitalize on these cameras growing popularity, asking homeowners to tell police if they have them, then asking them share pictures if a crime occurs nearby. Each squad car has access to the database so officers in the field know which house on which street has cameras.

It's called the Neighborhood Video Partnership. Because it is voluntary, Veach said it's not an invasion of privacy.

"It's as far from big brother as you can get and still have technology," he said. "You don't have to join. And once you do, you don't have to tell us anything."

Klodner's neighbor Gregg Sawyer likes the idea.

"In today's world, I think security is a growing thing. Can't be too safe," he said.

They have 30 locations signed up so far, with more being added each week. Big signs are going up soon, which Veach believes will act as a deterrent as well.

"If you're a criminal you're going to go elsewhere," he said.

The City of Richardson is also tolling out a similar program. It's now building its database.