Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
ROCKVILLE, Md., June 14, 2022 — Today Montgomery County Councilmembers Craig Rice, Sidney Katz and Council President Gabe Albornoz introduced Bill 14-22 that would establish a private security camera incentive program within the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD). Rebates or vouchers would be available for individuals and businesses to offset the cost of purchasing a private security camera for their property. With the objective of deterring crime and assisting in criminal investigations, the Montgomery County Police chief would determine which priority areas in the County would benefit from the installation of private security cameras. Councilmembers Will Jawando, Nancy Navarro and Tom Hucker are co-sponsors of the bill.
“Violent crime has increased both locally and nationally, but we can utilize camera technology to help solve these crimes,” Councilmember Rice said. “Police recently used security camera footage to help solve a tragic murder in Germantown. By making security cameras available to members of the community who might not otherwise be able to afford them, we are empowering our residents to help make our communities safer.”
“I am pleased to support this program. It is another step forward as our community comes together to help solve crime in all ways possible,” said Councilmember Katz, who serves as the Public Safety Committee Chair.
“This program will be a great resource for families and entrepreneurs who cannot afford to buy security cameras to protect their homes and small businesses from crime,” said Council President Albornoz. “Unfortunately, Montgomery County has experienced a significant increase in violent crime these past few years, which has been exacerbated by the global pandemic. In 2021, there were 32 homicides, which is an increase of 80 percent compared to the prior year. This year alone, we have seen 15 homicides, and police have recovered 727 guns in Montgomery County. This program can be an essential component to help investigations, and empower residents to keep our communities safe.”
Other jurisdictions have implemented similar security camera incentive programs. In the District of Columbia, police requested security camera footage in 25 documented cases in FY21. During that period, nine arrests were made in part due to the video footage provided from program participants’ security cameras to include seven arrests made in murder cases, one in a sexual assault case, and one in a robbery case.
The Montgomery County Police Department would develop the application and maintain a record of the cameras registered through the program.The chief of police would submit an annual report to the Council regarding the implementation of the program, including the number of rebates and vouchers issued as well as an evaluation of the program’s efficacy.
A public hearing for the bill is scheduled for July 12, 2022. The staff report for the bill can be found here.
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