The DeWitt Police Department is launching a new voluntary program to help keep the community safe.

The Security Camera Registration and Access Program allows businesses and residents to register their surveillance systems with the police department.

Once cameras are registered, a geographic information system will give law enforcement a list of cameras in the area.

Beth Hughes is the owner of Sashollie, which is located in downtown DeWitt. She says this will add an extra layer of protection to businesses and residences throughout the city.

“I feel like DeWitt is pretty safe, but you know, sometimes things happen. It’s nice to have that extra layer of evidence, so to speak,” said Hughes. “Hopefully other businesses and the community itself will support this and we can all work together. It can only be an advantage as far as I’m concerned. I can’t think of a disadvantage.”

DeWitt Police Chief David Porter says this new program will help when police investigate crimes in the community. Officers won’t have access to cameras unless they have permission.

“We have some volunteers, interns going door-to-door passing out information with the sheet, so people can simply scan the QR code and go in and register,” said Porter. “Our community is active with us to partner to combat crime. We’re fortunate that our community is involved with the police department. It helps us in that respect so it’s great.”

The geographic information system eventually will help track down lost pets, too, police said.