Mayor Rawlings-Blake Expands City Crime Camera Program into Midtown
Thursday Dec 20th, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (December 20, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Councilman Bill Cole, Councilman Carl Stokes, Tammy Brown, executive director of the Governor’s Office on Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP), and community and business leaders to take part in the installation of one of twelve new crime cameras in the Midtown Community Benefits District. The expansion of CitiWatch, the City’s actively-monitored crime camera program, will assist crime prevention efforts in the Mount Vernon neighborhood and Downtown. The new cameras and supporting infrastructure are funded by GOCCP as well as grants from the Abell Foundation.
“The CitiWatch program is a vital part of Baltimore’s effort to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. The cameras serve as a force multiplier that enables the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department to do more to protect the citizens of this great city,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “We are grateful to our partners for their support of this vital crime prevention tool.”
The camera expansion builds on Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s continued investment in public safety. Also counting this year’s Northeast district expansion, over 115 new crime cameras have been added to the CitiWatch network since Mayor Rawlings-Blake took office—increasing the total number of cameras to 622.
In 2011, CitiWatch participated in over 1,236 arrests, of which 145 arrests were made for violent crimes, including robberies, assaults, and illegal gun possession. Despite a difficult budget deficit, the mayor’s Fiscal 2013 Budget fully funds the operation of the crime camera program, which has been shown to reduce crime by 25% in covered areas.
An Urban Institute study found that Baltimore’s CitiWatch system has a significant impact on crime and yielded $1.50 in benefits for every $1.00 spent.