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Safe Cam Has A Big Impact On Defense Options In Criminal Cases

Prosecutors who are trying cases have the burden of proof, which means they must prove that the defendant committed the crime that led to the charges. There are some cases that might prove difficult for prosecutors to get the proof they need to meet that burden; however, the difficulty might have lessened a bit because of a new program that the Salt Lake City Police are using.

The new program allows police officers to connect to surveillance cameras. This enables them to look at some crime scenes around the city right from the computer monitor at the precinct.

The program, which is called Safe Cam, pairs business owners with police officers. About a dozen business owners around Salt Lake City have given police officers authorization to access the security cameras on their property if there is a crime committed. Even if business owners don't allow remote access to the footage, they can use the Safe Cam program to notify police officers that there is a working camera at their location. The officers could then request footage in person if it is needed.

Other similar programs have shown success in larger cities. In those cities, there are more available businesses to participate so the success seems greater. If Salt Lake City can get more business owners and homeowners with security camera on board, it might be a bit easier for police officers to catch people who commit crimes.

The Safe Cam program can play an important role in criminal cases. For defendants, the presence of footage can hurt their case if it does show them at the scene. It could also help them if something on the footage would prove their innocence. With this in mind, it is vital for defendants to learn about any Smart Cam footage that might pertain to their case so they can learn if their defense options are affected.

Source: Fox 13 Now, "Program allows SLC police to connect to surveillance cameras," Caroline Connolly, Aug. 31, 2015

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