Entrepreneur to pitch Web crime fighting tool
Mark Schlachtenhaufen The Edmond Sun
EDMOND — Residents attending this weekend’s Edmond Neighborhood Alliance Summit will be privy to information about community connections and city programs.
Edmond Security will occupy one of the vendor booths at Mitch Park’s Multi-Activity Center, and owner Paul Conrady will be there, pitching his business and his recently launched Web-based crime fighting tool — CrimeSeen.com.
Conrady said his just-launched free Web site is about enhancing and assisting neighborhood watch programs, local business communities and local law enforcement agencies. And local police departments are using the site to solve crimes.
“If you’re a participant you’re going to receive timely data of crimes in your area — that’s huge,” Conrady said. “If you are the victim of a crime, this gives you a way to go file your report and tell your neighbors what happened.”
Here’s how the site works. If someone catches a crime occurring on surveillance video, such as a home burglary, they can upload the clip on CrimeSeen.com, where it is hoped others will be able to identify the perpetrator.
In a matter of minutes, surveillance video footage of a crime being committed can go from a recording device to the Web.
A video clip at CrimeSeen.com shows a suspect stealing cameras at Edmond’s Summit Middle School. Accompanying information includes the event date, still images of the suspect and a report description. The infrared images captured details including an identifying tattoo.
In the middle school incident, the surveillance cameras were installed to catch copper thieves targeting the school’s air conditioners on the roof. A reward of $100 was offered. Comments can be posted on the same page, where recent tips are listed.
Shortly after the site was launched, a 4-year-old crime was solved in nine hours, Conrady said. The site also can help identify stolen merchandise, and it shows where network surveillance cameras are located. It also provides a way for visitors to contact site users who own cameras.
Conrady said he acknowledges that some individuals may have privacy concerns about the site, but a growing number of police departments and the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police have shown interest in his product.
Edmond Police spokeswoman Glynda Chu said her agency applauds Conrady’s efforts. The department already has posted video on the site and will continue to do so, Chu said. CrimeSeen.com is like Facebook for Neighborhood Watch programs, she said. Residents can visit the site to see if, when and where crimes may have occurred in their area.
“Any place you can get eyes on suspects and help make identifications is going to be a help in our crime-fighting efforts,” Chu said. “For the Edmond Police Department, it gives us another outlet to put out video or pictures of crimes that might not be picked up by local newspapers or television stations.”
Stacey Puckett, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police, said Conrady conducted a demonstration before association leadership last week. Puckett said the site offers police departments a lot of investigative aids.
“I think it’s a wonderful tool for law enforcement,” Puckett said.
Conrady said his free crime-fighting tool will not be effective unless citizens sign up. It is free because of the support of sponsors.
“If it’s gonna take off, it’s gonna take off in a gigantic way,” he said.
To learn more about Conrady’s new site, visit crimeseen.com.