Neighborhood group installing a host of cameras to prevent crime
The Citizen’s Association of Georgetown is in the process of installing security cameras throughout Georgetown in an attempt to discourage crime and catch wrongdoers. “We hope that it will be a deterrent in the neighborhood and that we’ll catch people,” CAG President Jennifer Altemus (COL ’88) told the Georgetown Current last month. Three cameras are expected to be operational by the end of January, and at least one is already in place.
Outside Martin’s Tavern at N Street and Wisconsin Avenue, a camera, pictured here, now continuously surveils the area. It can record any activity up to 200 feet away, and has the capacity to zoom in on license plates and facial features.
While the Current reported in December that the group has raised funds for ten cameras, WJLA-TV suggested last week that nearly three dozen cameras will be installed throughout the community. Altemus did not respond to a request to clarify the planned number and planned locations of the cameras.
Quoted in the WJLA report, ANC commissioner Ed Solomon applauded the initiative: “I think it gives the police another tool to use, whether it’s a deterrent or a prosecutorial tool after the fact.”
2011 saw a 12 percent decrease in violent crime in Georgetown over the previous year, but a 12-14 percent increase in property crime (i.e. break-ins and thefts), according to the Metropolitan Police Department. CAG is planning to post the cameras at “gateways” to the Georgetown community, such as stretches of P and 34th Streets, to ward off potential criminals, Altemus told the newspaper.
Altemus told the Current that the cameras will be placed on private property, with the permission of owners, and will film public space. Signs will inform passers-by that they are being filmed. The CAG president did not respond to Vox‘s request to comment on who will have access to the camera footage.