DHS Wants Private Surveillance Cameras In Every Neighborhood

Baltimore is expanding its public surveillance network to include private security cameras that city officials hope will quadruple the number of digital eyes on neighborhoods and make residents and business owners feel more secure, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore has nearly 700 pole cameras, and wants access to private cameras, too, where they’ll spy on citizens 24/7.

The new city database builds on the Police Department’s arrangements with several large organizations that have granted the agency access to their security cameras. Officers spy on visitors to Johns Hopkins Hospital, riders on Maryland Transit Administration buses and shoppers at Harborplace and The Gallery downtown, among other locations.

The database will act as a directory of cameras with information on where each is located, its owner and how long footage is retained. The listings will then be built into an interactive map.

The city launched a program two years in the making that gives police quicker access to the hundreds of private cameras mounted outside of businesses and homes around Baltimore. The voluntary program allows property owners to be part of the CitiWatch Community Partnership, which maps where cameras are located and points detectives to available security footage.

The database will act as a directory of cameras with information on where each is located, its owner and how long footage is retained. The listings will then be built into an interactive map.

The city launched a program two years in the making that gives police quicker access to the hundreds of private cameras mounted outside of businesses and homes around Baltimore. The voluntary program allows property owners to be part of the CitiWatch Community Partnership, which maps where cameras are located and points detectives to available security footage.

CitiWatch Community Partnership, is being funded with a $53,000 grant from the Abell Foundation. The city will use the money, in part, to build the database through which the Police Department will have access to feeds from the cameras of businesses that opt to take part. The grant also will pay for outreach to businesses.

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