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Illustration by Security Management

D.C. Expanding Camera Program

Washington, D.C. officials said this week that the city plans to install at least 140 new closed circuit security cameras into higher-crime areas.

The new cameras represent a roughly 70 percent increase in the city’s CCTV program. According to local police estimates, the program currently includes 185 cameras at fixed locations and 21 mobile cameras.

In addition, D.C. has a private security camera rebate program, in which private businesses can install subsidized cameras and make the footage available to local police. The private program has funded nearly 17,000 cameras across the city, and awarded $2.25 million in rebates, according to statistics from the mayor’s office.

The CCTV camera program has operated in D.C. since 2001, when cameras were installed in downtown areas. In 2006, administrators began installing them in neighborhoods with higher crime rates.

The boost in the camera program comes as crime has been spiking. In 2018, there were a total of 160 homicides in D.C., a 38 percent increase from 2017. So far in 2019, the city is on pace to beat last year’s number—152 homicides with still a full month left in the year.

According to city officials, the first new cameras will be installed in the next few weeks in the city’s crime initiative areas. Neighborhoods in the initiative include Columbia Heights, the U Street Corridor, Shaw, Saratoga, Greenway, Washington Highlands, Congress Heights, and portions of Southwest.

“We regard this as one tool, another tool in our toolbox for fighting crime and making neighborhoods safer across the District of Columbia,” Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters this week at a press conference, according to the online publication The DCist.

The new camera initiative will cost about $5 million in funding, according to city officials.

The ASIS learning catalog has more information on a recent ASIS webinar on Improving Video Surveillance Effectiveness.

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