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Mayor Bowser Signs Safer, Stronger Law to Deter Crime and Help Solve Open Cases

Friday, January 15, 2016
New rebate program incentivizes property owners to install security cameras

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2016, which creates a tangible and effective tool to fight crime.  The legislation, originally introduced in September 2015 as part of Mayor Bowser’s comprehensive public safety agenda, creates a program that encourages businesses, religious institutions, nonprofits and other property owners to install security cameras. 

“This law allows empowers members of our community to stop crime, and sends a clear message that we will no longer tolerate bad behavior in anywhere in our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “I want to thank the DC Council for working with my Administration to advance sensible policies that make the District safer and stronger.”

The program will provide rebates for the purchase and registration of a security camera system on the exterior of a building owned or leased by a resident, business, nonprofit or religious institution. The bill also establishes a special fund to implement the rebate program.

These cameras will be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), which will use footage to identify criminals after crimes have occurred.  In addition, the cameras will help serve as a deterrent to anyone considering a crime against a property.  Once the cameras are registered with MPD, officers will be able to request the video footage while investigating any crimes that occurred in the vicinity of the camera. MPD will not have live video access to the cameras.

The program provides a rebate of:

  • Up to $200 of the purchase price per camera installed on the exterior of a residential building, with a maximum rebate of up to $500 per residential address
  • Up to $200 of the purchase price per camera installed on the exterior of a business, commercial, nonprofit or religious institution with a maximum rebate of up to $750 per address

The Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, an agency within the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice cluster, will administer the program once the regulations have been approved.