By Jim Smith

BRAINTREE (CBS) – Surveillance cameras can add security to your home, but would you want those images being used for police investigations? Some police departments in Massachusetts are hoping homeowners will share their video, saying it will help catch criminals faster.

“They think by registering it, somehow we can tap into their cameras,” said Whitman Police Chief Scott Benton. “We can’t do that.”

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Chief Benton says time is crucial in solving a crime. That’s why months ago he created a camera registry in Whitman, a voluntary system where people can register their cameras with police so officers know which houses have them.

“It’s an immediate resource that we can go to and we know, OK, here it is. They have their camera set registered,” Benton said. “Now we can go to them and say ‘Hey is it possible? Can we take a look at it?’”

Now Braintree Police are doing the same thing asking camera owners to register. Officers would still need to get permission to view the footage, but having a list is faster than going door to door.

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“Yeah I think it’s great if they register,” a woman said. “The more the better.”

People in Braintree seem to be on board

“I think if you have the discretion to give the information up or not then it would be a good idea,” another woman said.

“I think it’s a good idea to help police solve crimes, that’s what it’s for right? to register your security cameras I’d do that,” a man said.

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Braintree Police are hoping this new program makes the work of their detectives even more efficient and effective. The program is voluntary and police say you can ask to be removed from the list at any point in time.