BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The city of Baltimore could soon make it easier for residents and business owners to pay for personal security cameras.

The city council Monday night moved forward with a bill that would offer $150 rebates per installed camera in an effort to combat crime.

In the Patterson Park neighborhood, a network of cameras has made a reduced crime in some areas. The city now wants to replicate that success elsewhere.

“Year over year last year compared to the prior year, burglaries went down by over 50 percent, and I know that was due at least in part by cameras,” said Arch McKown, the safety chair of the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association.

A database shows where residents have installed the cameras, McKown said. The images residents capture can then be used to solve burglaries, package thefts and carjackings.

“Then we send that to the police and so it aids with arrests but it also aids with prosecutions,” McKown said.

Now the city may offer up to $150 for new cameras residents and businesses purchase and register with the Citiwatch Community Partnership program. The program shows the police department where cameras are and gives officers contact information for the camera’s owner. Officers can then request the footage if a crime happens nearby.

McKown said he thinks the rebate program will help reduce crime if it’s passed.

“It’s really a matter of being able to identify suspects, and this kind of automates that,” he said.

The city council is expected to vote on a third and final reading of the legislation in the coming weeks.

Stetson Miller

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