As part of an effort to build a sort of panopticon, DC will give you a rather generous rebate if you purchase and install security cameras on the outside of your house. GM recently took advantage of the program and is due to receive a cool $500 from the city.
The basics are this: You can receive up to $200 per camera for a total of no more than $500. The cameras have to be installed on the exterior of your house. And you have to have installed the cameras after September 22, 2015.
And you have to register the cameras with MPD. This doesn’t mean the police will be granted open access to your cameras. But it does mean they will likely reach out to you if they think you might have footage relevant to an investigation. GM used Nest, which works online and stores the data in the cloud. For that reason it will be easy to share the footage. (GM used to have an older system which had none of that functionality and on multiple occasions had to send MPD cell phone videos taken of his television screen.)
Ultimately GM bought four cameras, covering both directions up his street, as well as the alley behind. They were pricey, but with the rebate the cost was essentially cut in half.
The program will run as long as the appropriated funds last. GM doesn’t expect to get the check in the mail for a while, but it’s a good incentive to replace his old and broken system. He’s had multiple packages stolen from his steps over the years, and having footage of the thief helps for the police report. That the footage could help catch a more serious criminal (such as the woman who attempted to kidnap a seven year old) all the better.