Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty is pleased to announce a new crime fighting Sheriff’s Office initiative called the Sheriff’s Virtual Neighborhood Watch.

This new initiative will help bring the community and law enforcement even closer together in solving investigations. The Sheriff’s Virtual Neighborhood Watch will improve collaboration by creating a database of video camera systems throughout Livingston County so Deputy Sheriffs can call upon them when needed with the owner’s permission.

In today’s world of ever growing technology home security cameras systems are becoming more affordable and more common in residential neighborhoods and businesses. The problem being that most law enforcement agencies do not know where these cameras are located without going door to door, which can cause time delays and additional manpower.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Offices would like to partner with our community members and businesses to develop a confidential database of homes and business that have exterior security cameras that record. These devices would only be called on in the event of a documented investigation in that neighborhood. This would establish a virtual neighborhood watch.

If you are residential homeowner or business owner and willing to participate in this secure, confidential database you can join the following ways:

1. Go to www.livingstoncounty.us/sheriff and find the information and form under the Virtual Neighborhood Watch tab

2. Call 243-7100 and request to speak with Deputy Mike Didas, Deputy Michael Anne or Sheriff’s Investigator Gene Chichester

3. Stop into the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Geneseo NY at 4 Court Street. The form is available in the lobby.

Following the registration into the Sheriff’s Virtual Neighborhood Watch, you will be contacted by a Deputy Sheriff in the event that your camera data is needed. We will have you sign a second release allowing us to enter into your video surveillance and collect your data from your camera for that specific event.

We do wish to stress that this is NOT giving us free access to your cameras at any time, only advising us of your cameras and your willingness to allow us to approach you for access to them in the event of a crime in your community.

“Our community members are the best partners we have in solving crimes,” stated Sheriff Dougherty. “This new Virtual Neighborhood Watch will allow us an even better partnership. I believe it will deter even more crime when criminals know we have this type of collaboration with our residents and businesses owners and also a very good possibility of catching them in the act on video.”