District of Columbia offers rebates for installing surveillance cameras to deter crime

Washington DC, formally known as District of Columbia has launched a new crime fighting “Private Security Camera Incentive Program” that offers its residents rebates in their regular taxes for installing security surveillance cameras on their properties. However, this new rule only applies to private home & business users and will be pertinent till this year end.

In January this year, DC Council unanimously passed a bill which offers rebate as much as $200 per camera, with maximum of $500 for each residence and $750 for businesses. In order to encourage public to install security cameras, the council of DC has started the program with the intention to help deter crime and assist law enforcement with investigations.

The requirements to qualify for this program are as follows-

  • Only new camera system installations which are purchased and installed on the property after September 22, 2015 are eligible for getting the rebate.
  • The camera should have been registered with the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • The amount of rebate shall not be more than the cost of the purchase of the camera system.
  • Only one security camera system per property address is eligible.
  • The cameras should be installed on the exterior of the building.

The rules for the eligibility of the incentive program are further as follows-

For IP camera installations

Security cameras with a minimum of 1 Megapixel resolution and screen resolution of 1280×1024 are eligible for the rebate. These cameras should record the video in standard quality and at a minimum of 5 frames per second. So, those who were recording video at 1 or 2fps should upgrade to a minimum 5fps to get the rebate.

The IP cameras should be weather proof and should be installed outdoor. They have to have a minimum requirement of 250GB per camera storage. The DC offers a recommended specification of 3 megapixel and 2048×1536 screen resolution with high video quality. The cameras should record at 15 fps and should have a 2.5TB per camera storage requirement.

For analog cameras

The rules are slight eased. Those who have analog cameras in their premises deployed outdoors will only qualify for the rebate when they cameras have minimum 640×480 screen resolution and can record at 5 fps with 125GB per camera storage requirements.

Note 1- The DC council has specifically notified all security cameras home and business users that the installed cameras should record at minimum 5 frames per second to a max of 30 fps. In generally, this specification alert applies to all those installers who in a bid to reduce the storage requirement often practice a customized setting of 1 fps.

Note 2-As it is now a world renowned fact that security cameras have the potential to reduce crime or atleast have the latent to deter crime, the DC has come up with this encouraging incentive to make its populace buy and install security cameras on exterior of their premises, so that the video evidence gathered from these cameras can be used as a reference for tracking down subjects involved in crime.

More details are available on DC official website

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