WatchDSM: Community Camera Program

WatchDSM Community Camera ProgramThe Des Moines Police Department’s Community Camera Program is an innovative way for citizens to take an active role in keeping our neighborhoods safe. Security camera systems are a great crime deterrent, and they are also helpful for police.

Neighborhood canvasses take time, and time can be critical when officers are looking for information quickly and are trying to identify critical investigative leads. Often, security camera systems capture valuable information, however it may go unnoticed if the resident or business owner is unaware of the crime. Knowing where to look for valuable video evidence increases the efficiency and effectiveness of our investigators.

How does the program work?

The Community Camera Program allows residents and business owners to register the availability of security camera systems with the Des Moines Police Department. Using this information when a crime occurs, the department will know the locations of nearby video cameras, and will contact the owner.

The Des Moines Police Department will only contact registered camera owners if a criminal incident occurs within the vicinity of the respective security camera and if the investigators believe that the footage would assist in the investigation.

The Des Moines Police Department will not have remote access to your cameras, and will never access your cameras without your knowledge. Authorized officers will only have access to your contact information. Participation in the program is 100% voluntary, and you can opt out at any time.

How will my privacy be protected?

Your privacy is important to us, and the Des Moines Police Department will make every effort to protect it. Your information will not be released to any person who does not have a lawful right to it. Even within the Des Moines Police Department, only those employees who have a bona fide reason to have the information will have access to it.

Who is eligible to participate?

Any residents or business owners that live within Des Moines city limits that would be willing to receive contact from the Des Moines Police Department about their camera footage in the event a nearby criminal incident takes place.

If you would like to participate in the program and partner with the Des Moines Police Department to help solve more crimes, click below to register for the WatchDSM program.

Register for the program


If you have further questions about the program, you can reach us by emailing