Last month, after footage from a privately owned security camera helped catch a murderer, we posited that privately owned cameras are far more cost effective than the small network of extremely expensive City owned cameras. We suggested that Philadelphia could benefit from the installation of more cameras, and that City Hall should consider subsidizing the purchase of this equipment, to improve safety and aid in law enforcement.
Well, it seems that the Commerce Department reads Naked Philly. Because according to SOSNA, the Commerce Department has just introduced such a program for businesses. The Commerce SafeCam Program allows businesses and/or commercial property owners to receive reimbursement for half of the cost of installing surveillance cameras, up to $3,000. The camera system must be registered with the SafeCam Program, and allow for the police to login to the system remotely. It’s also required to have a DVD component, for review of older footage. Also important, the cameras must be located outside of the business.
Camera outside the new CVS on South Street West
This program will hopefully inspire a number of participants to install cameras, increasing security for passersby and customers alike. It’s wonderful that this program will make improved security more accessible to business owners by reducing the financial burden involved. Will this program or some adapted version eventually be extended to residential property owners as well? We would argue that this would be prudent in the future, but the quick launch of this program for businesses is indeed a good start. Way to go, Commerce Department!
Interested in learning more about the program or filling out an application? Click here for guidelines and here for an application.