BERKELEY (KCBS) – Bay Area law enforcement agencies are relying more and more on video surveillance footage to help them make arrests and prosecute criminals.

Berkeley Police Sergeant Mary Kusmiss said it used to be that responding officers would fan out around the scene and look for witnesses and concrete clues.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

But now, video evidence is being used to help solve crimes, as was the case recently in Berkeley with the arrest of a felony vandalism suspect.

“We don’t make assumptions that people don’t have cameras. We knock on the door and ask, do you happen to have any kind of camera system in your home?” she said. “And surprisingly, there are quite a lot of community members that do.”

Kusmiss said it was home security footage that ultimately led to the arrest of a suspect in last month’s huge wave of tire slashings in the city.

She said partly because of price, the cameras are more readily available and many times, provide decent quality video.

“There are many department and retail outlets that have incredible systems that make it very easy to arrest suspects and the district attorney to review the tape and review the case,” said Kusmiss.

Many police departments are now sending out officers in the field with small video cameras attached to their uniforms to record interactions with possible suspects.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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