Research Request: Neighborhood Security

PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS | May 7, 2019

As part of your membership benefits, the Alliance staff provide research services for local government member submitted requests. Topics can range from pressing issues to emerging trends. This benefit is made possible through our partnership with Arizona State University Marvins Andrews Fellowship

Request Prompt:

“The Department of Public Safety would like to expand our neighborhood home security camera program so that we can continue to strengthen the safety of our community. In order to encourage our community members to volunteer to participate in the program, we are in search of funds to the purchase of the necessary equipment or somehow provide the actual equipment to them. Can you please conduct research to see if 1. Does any grant funding exist that would enable us to pay for home security cameras for community members who volunteer to participate in our security camera program? 2. Any security camera manufacturers offer programs or partnerships with police departments or municipalities to offer these cameras at a discount, whether to departments or to community members? (Popular manufacturers include Blink, Ring, and Nest.)” 

Summary of Findings: 

Although no specific grant funding or existing public-private funding pathways with companies such as Blink, Ring, and Nest were identified, resources to support partnerships and innovative programs using security systems are highlighted below. 

 

Toolkits, Resources, and Possible Funding Pathways: 

 

If interested in approaching a private company for partnership, The World Bank Group has created Practical Tools for Public-Private-Partnerships: 

 

Government Grants Guide:  

  • Every year, the United States Government grants billions of dollars to organizations including local governments to implement programs and projects. 

  • The database found here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html 

  • Note: searches for “security,” “camera,” “public safety” did not yield results that seemed applicable for Longmont, but still may be a useful tool.  

 

Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge:  

  • Cities participate in idea acceleration for awards of up to $100,000 to implement innovative ideas.  

  • From the website, the selection criteria include:  

  • Vision: ideas should be bold, creative, and, importantly, should tackle the most pressing issues facing your city today 

  • Impact: in order to be successful, ideas should have the potential to significantly improve citizens’ lives 

  • Implementation: though implementation plans may not be fully developed, cities must demonstrate their commitment and a viable path to bringing their ideas to life. This includes garnering support from citizens and key stakeholders.  

  • Transferability: winning ideas will not only be beneficial to the city generating the idea but also have the potential to spread- and succeed in – other cities. Issues addressed should be timely and relevant. We are looking for approaches that address problems other cities face. Other cities should be able to import and adapt the best ideas to benefit their own citizens.  

  • Link to full details here: https://mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org/competition-overview/ 

 

 

Comparable Programs, Case Studies, & Current Events: 

 

In DC, the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants administers the Private Security Camera Incentive Program to install security camera systems on their property and register them with the Metropolitan Police Department. This is done in two ways: 

  • Private Security Camera Rebate Program  

  • Rebate of up to $200 per camera  

  • Private Security Camera Voucher Program  

  • Free camera system to eligible residents free of charge 

 

Houston policy team up with Ring app to tackle crime (2019). 

“HPD will be able to send alerts to neighbors of crime and safety incidents in real time, request information about local crime and safety from neighbors who opt into sharing for a particular request, and work with the local community to build trust and to make the community safer.” 

  • The joint venture is the latest for Ring, a seven-year-old tech startup purchased by Amazon for more than $1 billion in February that has grown exponentially in recent years even as it has weathered criticism over its privacy practices and disputes over claims that its products reduce crime. 

  • The company has partnerships with numerous other departments across the nation, including across much of Florida and in Los Angeles, where Ring boasted of reducing burglaries in one neighborhood in 2015 by 55 percent over a six-month period. 

  • Funding of Ring cameras not noted  

  • Link to full article here: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-police-team-up-with-Ring-app-to-tackle-13533508.php  

 

Information gathered by privately funded cameras in Shockoe Bottom, VA is shared with organizations and businesses, including the Richmond Police and Fire Departments, the Department of Taxation, and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (2018). 

  • The Shockoe Partnership, Venture Richmond, and the Richmond Police Department announced a public-private partnership to enhance safety by installing five 360-degree cameras. 

  • Earlier in 2018, “Richmond City Police Chief Alfred Durham suggested installing cameras in the area but cited the need for funding partners. Venture Richmond and The Shockoe Partnership offered to fund the safety initiative. The camera investment totaled $30,000 and was funded entirely by private money; the bill split between the Shockoe Partnership – a coalition of area business leaders committed to the preservation and enhancement of the historic Shockoe corridor – and Venture Richmond. The cameras will be maintained and utilized by the City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Department.” 

  • Link to full article here: https://rvahub.com/2018/08/15/public-private-partnership-will-fund-five-new-360o-cameras-to-increase-safety-in-shockoe-bottom/ 

 

 “The doorbells have eyes: The privacy battle brewing over home security cameras,” from The Washington Post compiles an “ethical field guide” for using camera footage, developed from conversations with lawyers, city officials, and criminologists (2019). 

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