Three County Council members introduced legislation at its Tuesday meeting that would help homeowners and businesses install private security cameras on properties.
Councilmembers Craig Rice (D-District 2), Sidney Katz (D-District 3) and Council President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large) are lead sponsors of Bill 14-22, Police – Private Security Camera Incentive Program – Established that provide rebates or vouchers for the cost of buying a security camera to assist in deterring crime and in criminal investigations.
“Police recently used security camera footage to help solve a tragic murder in Germantown,” said Rice in a press release. “By making security cameras available to members of the community who might not otherwise be able to afford them, we are empowering our residents to help make our communities safer.”
“In 2021, there were 32 homicides, which is an increase of 80 percent compared to the prior year,” Albornoz added. “This year alone, we have seen 15 homicides, and police have recovered 727 guns in Montgomery County. This program can be an essential component to help investigations, and empower residents to keep our communities safe.”
The bill, if approved, would charge the police chief with deciding which areas in the county could benefit from the cameras and would therefore be a priority.
“The Montgomery County Police Department would develop the application and maintain a record of the cameras registered through the program,” according to the release. “The chief of police would submit an annual report to the council regarding the implementation of the program, including the number of rebates and vouchers issued as well as an evaluation of the program’s efficacy.”
The bill does not specify the amount of a rebate or voucher, other than they do not exceed the purchase cost. It does include a clause that permits the county to seek federal or state funding for the program.
The bill has three cosponsors: Councilmembers Will Jawando (D-At Large), Nancy Navarro (D-District 4), and Tom Hucker (D-District 5).
A public hearing for the bill is scheduled for July 12.
Photo: © alice_photo / Adobe Stock