Kinston businesses team up with police to catch criminals on camera

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Businesses in Kinston are teaming up with police to stop crime.

9OYS first reported on Project Photo Bomb in April. The initiative encourages businesses and residences to share their surveillance video with police to track down criminals.

So far, more than 40 businesses and a dozen residences have signed up.

Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston sells everything from fishing poles to dog collars to sauces to hammocks, which is why the store’s president, Russell Rhodes, wants to keep security under lock and key.

“We have surveillance all over the parking lot and all over the store,” said Rhodes. “We know what’s going on 24/7.”

The shop is one of many Kinston businesses willing to share its surveillance footage with law enforcement to stop criminals.

“If they know that people who act poorly will be videoed then showed to law enforcement, perhaps that will make people think twice about acting poorly,” Rhodes said.

Kinston police public information officer Woody Spencer said the more people on board, the better.

“The more people that will see that it works, the more people that will sign up, and then the bad guys are really going to have problems here in Kinston,” said Spencer.

The surveillance footage can be invaluable for police.

“You’ll be amazed at how many times we use video for all sorts of incident and crimes that people just don’t know,” said Spencer. “There’s cameras everywhere.”

Rhodes hopes it will stop crime before it happens.

“Don’t you want to live in a safe and happy community?” said Rhodes. “That’s what we seek, so we are working with the law enforcement agency to make sure we tamp down any bad actors before they act poorly. I think it’s a very important thing for our entire community.”

Rhodes also stressed the importance and strength of working hand and hand with police.

“If you’re not working with law enforcement before you need them, you’re doing yourself a disservice,” Rhodes said. “Have a good relationship with law enforcement and be supportive of them, so when you need them, they are comfortable working with you.”

There’s no cost to sign up and once a home or business is in the database police can access video to help stop shoplifters and other criminals.

If you would like to sign up, send your name, address, and phone number to woody.spencer@ci.kinston.nc.us

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