Baltimore steps up public-private partnership on surveillance
BALTIMORE--This city is stepping up its efforts to enroll more businesses and private entities in a public-private partnership that gives the city's police department access to those private security cameras.
The city's Board of Estimates last week decided to create a new database that would make it easier for private businesses to give the police department access to their security cameras, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The city currently owns 583 cameras, and has access to the feeds of more than 250 additional cameras owned by various private entities, including Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Harborplace mall downtown, the paper reported.
This new initiative,called CitiWatch Community Partnership, could increase that number by several hundred, a spokesperson for the city mayor's office told the Sun. "We're going to focus on even small people, like mom-and-pop stores," Ian Brennan, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, told the Baltimore Sun. "We've got to go do the outreach: 'Hey, do you have a camera? Would you like to help?'"
The initiative is being funded with a $53,000 grant from the Abell Foundation, the paper reported.