Note to criminals: You are being watched

Oak Park police establish new online portal to upload video and photos from private surveillance


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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It was only a few weeks into 2019 that Oak Park police posted a photo of a man fleeing on foot past a home in the 800 block of South Maple Avenue in Oak Park.

They later arrested two men, one of whom was in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle, but the photograph posted with the press release appeared to come from the front porch of a home in the neighborhood.

The image wasn't taken by a neighbor's cell phone camera, however; instead it was pulled from a surveillance video that had been posted on the website for Neighbors App, which allows those with surveillance cameras on their home to post video that is made available to other Neighbors App users.

The Oak Park Police Department is taking the concept a step further and allowing Oak Park residents to submit surveillance video directly to police through a new online portal, according to a press release.

Oak Park Police Chief LaDon Reynolds was not immediately available for comment on the new program.

Police note that they are "hoping to tap the growing number of surveillance video cameras" in the community to help solve crimes.

Residents can also submit photos they think might be relevant in criminal activity.

"The police department often gets unsolicited surveillance videos via email from residents," the press release notes. "Officers also routinely look for nearby cameras when they canvas a neighborhood after a crime has been reported. The new image and video uploader should make it more convenient for concerned citizens to share video with police."

All files will be used as "confidential aspects of ongoing investigations," according to police.

The uploader is available at

Reader Comments

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Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 6:05 PM

Our building was broken into, and the video captured excellent images of the thief. All we got out of it was a police lecture on how we shouldn't have anything of value in storage areas. The thief? No one ever did anything about him, he roams freely. But when the mailman helped catch another thief in . the act of actively stealing packages, the police came and promptly let the thief go. One can only wonder what crime statistics even mean in this town. Meanwhile, better pay those parking fines during the amnesty program. And the police need a fancy new building with windows to stare out of.

Katina Smith  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 3:55 PM

This sounds like a wonderful program. I'll definitely upload any pictures and videos I have. Especially people who don't pick up behind their dog.

Jacek Lazarczyk  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 11:16 AM

@Jack; only white women should refrain from calling.

Jack Davidson  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 10:18 AM

I thought we're not supposed to call the police? Which is it, please?

Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 9:16 AM

I disagree Alex. I say two weeks.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 8:32 AM

@ Doug Katz - picky - picky - picky - it was a big evil machine gun with a 27 foot (Whole nine yards) bandoleer of 50 cal uranium tipped bullets. The poor guy captured on camera is just a poor misguided soul who is not responsible for his actions.

Doug Katz  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 7:59 AM

What the heck is an AK-45? There is no such thing.

Alex Garcia  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 6:40 AM

I give it one month before "community" opposition forces this program to be shut down.

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