D.C. police gain access to private surveillance cameras

A surveillance camera visible near the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Police in the District of Columbia are teaming up with a private security firm to dramatically increase the number of surveillance cameras available to investigators.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced the partnership with Kastle Systems Security on Friday.

The Falls Church, Va.-based firm will add 300 cameras used by local businesses to the Metropolitan Police Department's network of 90 closed-circuit cameras.

Kastle will also donate 1,000 cameras to businesses that want to participate in the program, known as Capital Shield.

Lanier stressed that officers will not be monitoring the cameras or recording the footage and that all of the cameras are trained on outdoor, public places.

She said police will review the footage only when the video could be useful to enhance public safety.

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