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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- A gunman approached a couple in the 500 block of Dumaine Street and attempted to rob them Wednesday morning.

It's a crime that might have gone unsolved before, but thanks to Safe Cam 8, police know a nearby businesses' surveillance camera captured the entire thing.

'Very quickly the detective are on the case and looking for video,' said Bob Simms, chairman of the French Quarter Management District's Security Task Force. 'We found video from one of the businesses on the 500 block and she just sent that to the detectives.'

The business and its cameras are one of 1,300 cameras registered on Safe Cam 8, a database used by police to keep track of all the privately-owned and operated cameras in the French Quarter and the CBD.

'It's very rewarding, but I am very surprised at how quickly it has taken off,' Simms said. 'People in the 8th District want to be a part of making the French Quarter a safer place.

' Because of its success, police are now launching a city-wide version of the crime-fighting tool.

'Our district supervisors or our district investigations supervisors and detectives can now just go to one database and say show me anything in the 900 block of Royal Street, and it will give them a visual as well as well as the contact information and the detectives will immediately start trying to contact people,' said NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Serpas said their new citywide database Safe Cam NOLD will be rolled right into the Safe Cam 8 program so detectives will knows where cameras are up throughout the city.

But the NOPD stressed one important point, and one that could be a deterrent for residents if they're don't with how Safe Cam NOLA works.

'We are not tunneling in in anyway,' he said. 'We are not using the Internet in any way to look at people's videos or house any of that data. This information stays on their personal camera systems in their homes and business.'

The Safe Cam NOLA website went live Wednesday. So if residents or businesses have surveillance cameras installed, they can start registering their cameras immediately.

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