WASHINGTON (AP) — The Citizens Association of Georgetown is adding private surveillance cameras to help deter crime, and the civic group has more legal leeway than District of Columbia police.

Diana Colasanto, the group’s public safety chair, tells The Washington Post that the goal is to make it harder to break into cars or houses or to steal people’s cell phones. D.C. law restricts how police can use cameras.

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The citizens group says it has guidelines to ensure cameras won’t intrude on residents’ privacy. Video will be turned over to police only after a crime is reported. Still, some residents have objected.

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The move comes as a community group in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood signed an agreement to wire 16 cameras directly to the police department. Baltimore officers monitor hundreds of surveillance cameras.

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