City Council proposes tax credits for businesses with surveillance cameras - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 1, 2013 12:00 pm

City Council proposes tax credits for businesses with surveillance cameras

Under the bill, business owners would get a tax credit for owning surveillance cameras that they add to SafeCam, the Police Department's crowdsourced network of privately-owned cameras.
This surveillance camera near Temple University is registered with the city’s SafeCam program. Hyaline Creative built the app that lets owners register their cameras. Photo from NPR.

This surveillance camera near Temple University is registered with the city's SafeCam program. Hyaline Creative built the app that lets owners register their cameras. Photo from NPR.

The city should encourage businesses to own a surveillance camera and register it with the city. That’s the idea behind a bill that Councilman Kenyatta Johnson proposed yesterday.

Under Johnson’s bill, business owners would get a tax credit for owning surveillance cameras that they add to SafeCam, the Police Department‘s crowdsourced network of privately-owned cameras. The Police Department doesn’t have direct access to the 360 registered cameras. Instead, it uses SafeCam to know what kind of footage exists and asks to see footage if it could be helpful to solving a crime.

In June, police said that SafeCam helped solve 85 crimes since January.

The tax credit idea was actually suggested in a recent letter to the Daily News from the founder of the popular Old Images of Philadelphia Facebook page, Carl Manley.

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