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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:11 pmMar 11, 20140

Police surveillance camera costs rising

Nearly $700,000 sought to maintain and expand CCTV network in city

Above: A CCTV police monitor overlooks a public housing project in Baltimore.

Nearly $700,000 in additional money is being requested by the Baltimore Police Department to fund its Closed Circuit TV camera surveillance system popularly know as CitiWatch.

The request to the Board of Estimates tomorrow will increase the city’s maintenance contract with Tele-Tector of Maryland to $8.2 million. The cost, based on estimated needs (know as a requirements contract), will include platform integration and a limited expansion of the system, according to a memo to the city’s spending board.

Currently, the police maintain over 600 cameras, most of them mounted on top of streetlight poles, but sometimes on city-owned buildings.

The surveillance system was started in 2005 by then-Mayor Martin O’Malley and was credited with assisting police in 1,234 arrests in 2012. The police project 1,300 arrests attributable to CCTV intelligence this year.

The monitors blanket downtown, especially on the West Side, and are concentrated on such arterial streets as North Avenue, East Monument Street, Wilkens Avenue, Park Heights Avenue, Popular Grove Street and Greenmount Avenue.

In addition, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) has 180 CCTV cameras at six of its larger public housing units, including McCulloh, Perkins, Gilmor, Latrobe and Cherry Hill, which are monitored by city police.

Here is a map of camera locations, excluding those used for public housing security.

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