Last year, the City applied for a $2 million grant to place closed-circuit TV cameras and license-plate reader cameras around the City. The grant would have allowed the City to place cameras around the whole city. The University offered to monitor a portion of these cameras, located near the University, for free. The camera feed would be viewable by the Prince George’s County police (including the City contract police) from their laptops. Unfortunately, the City only received $500,000 of this grant application. The staff has received a proposal from the Avrio group to place and operate the cameras. Because the cameras rely on wireless internet, the cameras would have to be close to the Security Operations Center to begin with. This means that, at first, no cameras would be placed in north College Park.
“I understand the problem we face with not having the funding we had originally hoped for, but I want to be sure that what we’re doing will set us up for cameras to be placed in north College Park in the future. Specifically, I want to be sure that the network can be expanded when we have more money, and that this will continue to allow the cameras to be monitored by Prince George’s County police officers as well as University of Maryland police. I am also concerned about ongoing operating and maintenance costs for the cameras, and how we will pay for those with a shortened budget. The current proposal we have received does not address these concerns. This should be an interesting discussion tomorrow night.” – said Patrick Wojahn