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DC police chief asks small business owners to help stop crime – WTOP News



DC police chief asks small business owners to help stop crime – WTOP News

During a panel on Tuesday, D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith asked small business owners to let police have access to their cameras to help stop crime.

On Tuesday, D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith joined Peter Kilpatrick, president of Catholic University, at the 2024 Potomac Conference on Public Safety.

As Kilpatrick was wrapping up his thoughts, Smith looked over at the panel moderator, Elliot Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. He immediately shook his head, understanding that D.C.’s top police officer had one last thing to say.

“I just want to add one thing. I’m in an environment with private industry business,” Smith said. “One of the things that we’ve launched with the Real Time Crime Center is the ability to be able to connect your cameras.”

The theme of the panel discussion was “Collaboration for Success: Strategies, Resources, and Trust-Building,” and was in collaboration with the Board of Trade, Council of Governments, the Greater Washington Partnership and the Consortium of Universities.

During the roughly 40-minute talk, both Smith and Metro Transit Chief Michael Anzallo spoke of how the crime rates have dropped during this calendar year.

Smith said, to date, the Metropolitan Police Department has nearly 40,000 cameras that are connected to the Real Time Crime Center through CameraConnect D.C.

“We are asking you, your partners, your business, please connect your cameras to our Real Time Crime Center,” Smith said. “If you have business, mom-and-pop stores, we really want to use your cameras.”

Afterward, Smith spoke to WTOP and made another appeal to business owners.

“Please, please, please, allow the Metropolitan Police Department to have access to those cameras,” Smith said. “It helps us move into the area quicker and make the appropriate arrests of those individuals who are creating havoc in our city.”

Smith also spoke of the crime drop that the District has seen since January.

“We’ve had a 30% reduction in violent crime, 31% reduction in robberies. We’ve seen a very, very good decrease in carjackings at 47%,” Smith said. “We know we still have work to do, but we have to keep pushing.”

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