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Security camera rebate program moves forward

Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 09:22:23-05

BALTIMORE — We all want peace of mind when we’re at home, but for some the price tag for technology designed to protect us, is a bit too much.

Security cameras provide an extra set of eyes to catch something as small as a porch theft or as awful as a woman attacked and carjacked outside of her home

"It puts the suspect at that time and at that place,” said Arch McKown. “Sometimes it puts the suspect or suspects actually committing the crime. What you're referring to that woman got carjacked and that guy got assaulted. That was all on a doorbell camera."

Doorbell cameras are becoming the norm in places like Patterson Park.

Arch McKown rallied his neighborhood to create a network of cameras, and now he goes to other neighborhoods in the city to show them how they can too.

"They want to do it it's just like I can only get one person on my block to have a camera because no one else can afford it,” McKown said.

Councilman Eric Costello in sponsoring a bill that would help any small business or homeowner get a camera if they want one.

"A concentration of cameras in neighborhood does lead to a reduction in crime,” Costello said. “It's a clear deterrent because folks know they are on camera. It also creates an easier path for detectives to investigate and arrest and for prosecutors those who are committing violent crime in our city."

The city would offer $150 for installing a system and registering it with police.

The registration doesn't allow police unlimited access to the footage-- everyone still has the right to say no to the department.

"The Major for the Southern District will tell you for every camera it's like having an extra officer in the neighborhood,” Costello said. “It's critically important. It helps detective piece together what happened."

If passed the rebate bill would be funded by grant money from the mayor’s office.

It will be up for a final vote in two weeks.