By Mai Martinez

(CBS) — The Boston Marathon bombings showed how quickly surveillance images can help identify suspects.

Now a suburban police department wants to use that same technology to help solve and prevent crimes in their community.

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.

Surveillance cameras are just about everywhere these days. Elgin police believe if used properly they can be a valuable crime-fighting tool.

Prompted by community members wanting to better help police, the department launched its “Security Thru Surveillance” program.

The idea: register public and private sector cameras online for police use. That way, when a crime happens, officers can use the map to determine which cameras might help them.

“In the past, we’ve had to go door to door. We’ve had to go business to business to try to locate cameras,” Sgt. Jim Bisceglie says.

That would save both time and resources.

Police Chief Jeff Swoboda downplays any notion of Big Brother taking over.

These cameras are already out there.  They’re on the streets. They’re in people’s pockets. They’re in businesses, and what this does is allows us to get that information if they want to give it to us,” he says.

Business owner Rick Radloff registered his cameras, and says he can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t.

“A safer community is better business,” he says.

Police are holding a training seminar on Saturday June 22. Click here to learn more.

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