Today, DC Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) is introducing legislation to expand the District’s highly successful Private Security Camera System Incentive Program to cover additional eligible security measures, including glass break sensors and interior security cameras. The bill is needed to provide both deterrence and additional evidence to aid the Metropolitan Police Department in its efforts to catch someone who commits a robbery.
“Our small businesses are telling us they need help to improve security in their storefronts, particularly after the rash of overnight break-ins along the H Street, NE Corridor. Government has a role to play here in delivering smart, preventative security investments to keep our businesses’ doors open and help them thrive,” said Councilmember Allen. “When I was first elected to the Council, I introduced a bill that created the District’s Private Security Camera System Incentive Program, which has been incredibly popular with both residents and businesses. It now makes sense to expand it beyond just exterior cameras, focusing on small businesses that operate with narrow margins, so we can both deter and catch people who are repeatedly targeting them.”
The current Private Security Camera System Incentive Program offers a rebate to individuals, non-profits, religious institutions, and businesses to install exterior cameras, provided the purchaser agrees to register the camera with MPD. But the recent break-ins at several small businesses along the H Street, NE Corridor have highlighted a need to provide additional support, particularly as expanded security infrastructure could have deterred the break-ins in the first place or allowed MPD to respond faster, rather than simply recording footage of the crimes as they were committed.
The Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Small Business Expansion Amendment Act of 2023 would expand the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program to include rebates to small businesses that earn less than $2.5 million in federal gross receipts for security cameras or glass break sensors installed inside their buildings.
Notably, today MPD has made an arrest of a person suspected in nearly every break-in along H Street, NE. “The arrest is welcome news, and my thanks to MPD’s First District officers for their excellent work. This bill supports MPD’s efforts by ensuring that if someone else thinks they can prey upon our businesses, we’ll now be more likely to catch them in the act with a sensor or capture helpful footage from inside the building,” said Councilmember Allen.