Nik Esposito’s family is one of many across the country that has decided to install cameras or audio devices at home for the sake of personal security.
“I have two kids and their safety obviously comes first,” said Esposito, phone in hand with video access to exterior cameras monitoring his home and business.
Upgrading a home’s security has taken off, with the industry following suit. Projections show at-home camera and recording devices market size will grow 34%, or more than $21 billion, between 2022 and 2026.
“It gives me a lot of peace of mind, you know? I’m at work all the time,” said Esposito.
The cameras proved practical not just for his home, but his neighborhood as well. After a hit-and-run happened on the street his family lives on, Esposito received a call from police.
“They were looking for a specific car when they asked me and they had a roundabout time they gave me of when it should have passed my house. So I went to that, I think it saw the car. I told them what direction the car was going towards, and that’s what they really asked me for,” Nik Esposito.
He shared a 30-second video from his system, leading police to the suspect and making an arrest.
The Town of Newburgh police department believes it has a potentially potent and widespread tool that could help solve crimes.
Vinnie Presutti, a retired FBI agent now at the department, is spearheading the initiative to bring crime fighting a little closer to home. He created a registry for neighbors with home security cams – a running list for police to contact if they needed a second set of eyes.
“I think it’s a good idea, especially if the community gets involved because they are taking an active part themselves in keeping their neighborhood safe,” said Presutti.
It’s an idea that came to him at the dinner table while talking to his family, and he’s fleshed out with the rest of his team at the precinct. Once a crime is committed, the department immediately checks the list of participants to see if it was caught on camera.
“The apprehension rate certainly would be increased and the detective and patrol would be able to spend more time on other crimes coming in,” said Presutti.
But the technology and access aren’t without controversy. Critics are concerned about police access to private property and lives.
“This sort of, in general, knowing who has a camera all around town, that may be a little excessive,” said criminal defense attorney Peter Pullano.
He shared that although he wouldn’t advise someone to not disclose whether or not they have a camera, he doesn’t see it as necessary. He says learning where these devices are located is just a matter of making note while responding to the call.
Pullano says in New York, you can be recorded on video or audio without your consent in most cases. Additionally, Pullano explains once someone is in public, a person should assume someone or something could be watching them.
“It’s just like doing it in front of an eyewitness, except in this case, I guess the pun is intended, a photographic memory. But it certainly is recorded and witnessed,” said Pullano.
Esposito says he understands the concerns, but he wants to do his part.
“When I can help, I want to help. If I’m asked to help and there’s something that’s in my power to do, then I’m more than willing to do it,” said Esposito.