By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s top cop is urging citizens who have properties equipped with an outdoor  surveillance system to register that system with the police.

Police commissioner Charles Ramsey says private surveillance systems have aided the Philadelphia Police Department in fighting crime on numerous occasions.

Ramsey says that when a property owner registers with the new “Safecam” program, it helps police pinpoint cameras that may be useful in an investigation in a timely fashion.

“It saves so much time to be able to pull up a map,” Ramsey said today outside a South Broad Street insurance agency that recently registered its surveillance cameras, “even though we still have to canvass because we know we will probably not have all the cameras.  But it’s good to know that we will at least have two or three in the area that we can go to that may have something that may be of a value to us.”

The commissioner says public safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“We have a network of cameras out here,” he said.  “Why don’t we work together in collaboration to be able to cover more area, to be able to get more information?”

Three hundred ninety-five businesses and residents have signed up so far for the Safecam program.

More information is at