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D.C. Police to Deploy More Surveillance Cameras

securitysales.com | September 7 2006

The Metropolitan Police Department said it would place 12 additional surveillance cameras in D.C. neighborhoods, bringing the total number of the security devices to 19.

Seven of the new cameras will be placed in Northwest, three in the Northeast and two in the Southeast.

A spokesman for the department said police officials are expecting to deploy a total of four-dozen cameras by the end of September.

The D.C. Council recently appropriated $2.3 million to buy and install up to 48 surveillance cameras as part of a package of emergency anti-crime legislation that included authorization to use the cameras. The legislation also pushed the juvenile curfew up from midnight to 10 p.m.

The emergency legislation expires in the middle of October. The council is expected to consider permanent legislation authorizing the use of the cameras before the sunset date. Police officials said they want some statistics in hand to gauge the impact and effectiveness of the cameras by the time a hearing takes place.

According to preliminary police statistics compiled through Aug. 28, compared with 2005 figures, violent crime is down 10 percent citywide since July 12, when Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey declared a crime emergency.

Since that date, there have been 22 homicides, down from 33 in that period last year. D.C. officials reported there have been 116 killings, down from 127 at this point last year.

The number of adult arrests has increased 10 percent, from 6,937 last year to 7,646 this year, and the number of juvenile arrests has jumped 29 percent, from 368 in 2005 to 476 this year.

Increased curfew enforcement has netted 2,203 juveniles — 952 of whom were taken into custody during the earlier curfew hours between 10 p.m. and midnight. That compares with 769 curfew violators taken into custody since July 12, 2005.


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