Some Georgetown residents and merchants are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to fighting crime.
They are footing the bill for nearly three dozen cameras that will watch and record all activity in some residential and business areas of the upscale community.
A camera outside Martin's Tavern at P Street and Wisconsin Avenue is the first of dozens that will be installed over the next six to eight months.
Chip Dent has lived in Georgetown 20 years and says the cameras will do what the police can't
“They can't be everywhere all the time,” Dent says. “The cameras can be - sitting there 24 hours a day 365 days a year.”
A single-lens camera will be able to monitor all activity for up to 200 feet. Facial recognition is clear and there is the ability to zoom in to see things such as license plates.
The cameras will cost around $2,000 a piece and will be paid for by residents and merchants like Ed Solomon, who owns a tuxedo store.
“I think it give the police another tool to use, whether it's a deterrent or it’s a prosecutorial tool after the fact,” Solomon says.
Georgetown resident Diane Colasanto's home has been burglarized twice during the last seven years.
She supports the use of these cameras.
“It's a terrible thing,” she says. “You don't want to feel like you have to leave the neighborhood to be safe. You want to be safe so yeah - it does provide a little more piece of mind.”