Jan. 2—CUMBERLAND, Md. — The Cumberland Economic Development Corp. will use a $50,000 grant designed to support crime prevention and increase public safety to expand the number of surveillance cameras being installed in the city's downtown district.
Gov. Larry Hogan's office announced $10 million in grants Thursday, a second round of funding from the Re-Fund the Police Initiative.
"We want to make the downtown a much more safe and tourist friendly area where people feel safe and come down as they so desire," said Matt Miller, CEDC executive director.
The CEDC received a $100,000 grant earlier this year administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for camera surveillance. Eleven directional cameras have been purchased from ARK Systems, Inc. of Cumberland and 16 store-front cameras from Ring were obtained for building owners who request them.
"So this second round (of funding) will basically be phase two of that," said Miller. "It will be additional cameras to extend the actual network and offer more enhancement of downtown surveillance."
Miller said the initial funding was designated for coverage for Baltimore, Liberty and Centre streets. He said the latest funding will help cover alleys, parking lots, garages and other side streets.
"We are developing the program in consultation with the Cumberland Police Department," said Miller. "We are relying on their expertise to pinpoint the best places to install the cameras."
The police department has 60 cameras with live monitoring positioned throughout the city.
Miller said he hopes the first phase and the latest funding can be combined so the entire project can be completed together in the next six months. The cameras were identified for the first phase but installation was scheduled for the spring.
The governor's $10 million in funding awards are distributed through the Community Safety Works program to more than 150 business districts, neighborhood associations, local governments and nonprofit organizations across Maryland.
The funding is designed to improve the livability and economic potential of Maryland communities through targeted investments in crime prevention that impact community safety, according to Hogan's office. With the second round of awards, Community Safety Works has assisted more than 450 organizations.
"These neighborhood safety grants continue to be an important component of our Re-Fund The Police Initiative, providing resources to local governments, nonprofits and community organizations for crime prevention efforts in communities across the state," said Hogan in a press release.