(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chief Robert J. Contee, III of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) highlighted strategies and resources that residents should use to reduce the risk of package theft during the holiday season. Last year, for the first time in several years, MPD recorded a slight decline in package thefts. By encouraging residents to track packages, send them to alternative pickup sites, work with neighbors to bring packages inside, or have packages delivered where or when someone is available to immediately receive them, MPD hopes to continue the downward trend in package thefts. MPD also encourages residents to report thefts immediately to MPD by calling 911 or filing an online police report at mpdc.dc.gov/service/file-police-report-online.
“We want this to be a safe, fun holiday season for everyone,” said Mayor Bowser. “While MPD is out patrolling, we also want residents to work together to keep holiday packages out of the wrong hands. Use alternative pickup sites, work with neighbors to bring deliveries in, use our camera program, and if you see something, say something by reporting it to MPD.”
The Mayor also encouraged more residents to participate in the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program, which is administered by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). Through the program, residents, businesses, non-profits, and religious institutions can get rebates or vouchers for the installation of private security camera systems on their property. MPD has used footage from program participants to identify suspects in a variety of crimes, leading to the arrest and successful prosecution in several violent crimes, including homicide.
There are two ways to participate in the Private Security Camera Incentive program:
- The Private Security Camera Rebate Program provides a rebate for residents, businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions who purchase and install security camera systems on their property and register them with the Metropolitan Police Department. The program provides a rebate of up to $200 per camera, with a maximum rebate of up to $500 per residential address (e.g., home offices, condo buildings, and apartments) and $750 for all other eligible addresses. The rebate is exclusively for the cost of the camera(s), including any applicable tax.
- The Private Security Camera Voucher Program provides a private security camera system to eligible residents free of charge. District residents—either owners or tenants—who receive public assistance may be eligible to have a camera system installed at their home.
The program has been used to add over 26,200 cameras across all eight wards. Residents, businesses, nonprofits, and religious institutions can learn more and apply for the program by visiting the OVSJG website at ovsjg.dc.gov. Additional questions about the rebate or voucher program can be answered by emailing [email protected] or calling (202) 727-5124.
“Residents of our city do not deserve to be victimized by people who want to commit crimes, whether they be violent crimes or property crimes,” said Chief Contee. “Our department will continue to investigate these incidents that were committed by people who want to ruin the quality of life for our residents. We will follow every lead we can to ensure the victims get justice.”
MPD is also encouraging residents to use designated Safe Exchange Zones if meeting up with people to complete transactions from online market platforms. These designated areas serve as a safe place for people to exchange goods or money in order to prevent pre-staged robberies. MPD also strongly encourages the public to be especially wary of meeting people who refuse to meet at a Safe Exchange Zone location.
- MPD Safe Exchange Zone locations:
- First District Station: 101 M Street SW
- Second District Station: 3320 Idaho Avenue NW
- Third District Station: 1620 V Street NW
- Fourth District Station: 6001 Georgia Avenue NW
- Fifth District Station: 1805 Bladensburg Road NE
- Sixth District Station: 5002 Hayes Street NE
- Seventh District Station: 2455 Alabama Avenue SE
- Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol: 550 Water Street SW