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Mayor Bowser, DC Police encourage residents to plan for safety measures ahead of the holidays

“While MPD is out patrolling, we also want residents to work together to keep holiday packages out of the wrong hands," Bowser said.

WASHINGTON — The holidays are approaching and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is encouraging residents to use safer alternatives including using DC Police's Safe Exchange Zone locations and participating in the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program. 

According to a press release from Bowser's office, in D.C. there was a "slight decline" in package thefts last year. This was attributed to the efforts of encouraging residents to send their packages to alternative pickup sites, work with people in their neighborhood to bring packages inside, track packages and have packages delivered to a place where someone will be available to pick them up immediately upon arrival.

“We want this to be a safe, fun holiday season for everyone,” said Mayor Bowser. “While MPD is out patrolling, we also want residents to work together to keep holiday packages out of the wrong hands. Use alternative pickup sites, work with neighbors to bring deliveries in, use our camera program, and if you see something, say something by reporting it to MPD.”

When making plans to make transactions from an online market, DC Police are prompting the public to utilize the Safe Exchange Zone locations in the District. Officials said these spaces are utilized as a "safe place for people to exchange goods or money in order to prevent pre-staged robberies."

DC Police's Safe Exchange Zone locations:

  • First District Station: 101 M Street SW
  • Second District Station: 3320 Idaho Avenue NW
  • Third District Station: 1620 V Street NW 
  • Fourth District Station: 6001 Georgia Avenue NW
  • Fifth District Station: 1805 Bladensburg Road NE 
  • Sixth District Station: 5002 Hayes Street NE 
  • Seventh District Station: 2455 Alabama Avenue SE  
  • Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol: 550 Water Street SW

“Residents of our city do not deserve to be victimized by people who want to commit crimes, whether they be violent crimes or property crimes,” said D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee.

The Private Security Camera Incentive program is from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants and provides participants to receive rebates or vouchers for installing the security program. According to the release, DC Police uses the footage captured by the security cameras to identify suspects of crimes in the city.

Those interested in participating in the security program can sign up for the rebate and voucher programs. The rebate is only for paying the cost of the cameras, according to the release. The rebate program gives up to $200 per camera with a maximum $500 rebate to residential addresses which includes home offices, condo buildings, and apartments, according to officials. Other eligible addresses can receive up to $750.

The voucher program provides security cameras for free to participating residents. Owners or tenants in the city that receive public assistance could be eligible to have the cameras installed at their homes, according to the release.

To learn more about the security camera program click here. Officials said those who have additional questions about rebates or vouchers can email security.cameras@dc.gov or call (202) 727-5124.

WATCH NEXT: DC police promote security camera program

DC has been paying for people to install home security cameras.

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