Hagerstown is set to add more cameras in the city

March 6 – Hagerstown Mayor and Council will likely approve an additional 60 cameras to the city for $90,000 at the end of the month regular session.  

The city already has a robust camera system, but there are blind spots. 

Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez explained, “A lot of places like the alleys, a lot of spots where it’s very dark, places that didn’t have the issues that now are kind of like we need to see what’s happening there.” 

Council agreed to the spend and will officially vote on it at the end of the month. 

Martinez said, “One thing about our chief is he rarely comes and asks for money. He usually comes and asks for approval to shift and change how he’s using his budgeted money.”

The $90,000 also includes installing the cameras and maintaining the footage. 

Martinez said, “There was a contract that we just approved and signed for the same technology company that kind of does the body cam and the drones. They keep it for a certain period of time. It gets updated as well. So it’s not like five years from now the city has to drop another $50,000 to update the technology because that kind of comes with the subscription to. So I know it seems like a lot of cameras, a lot of money, but things have changed and the way that you address and kind of figure out how to address crime. You have to get just as technical.”

Yesterday’s work session was quite short. 

Martinez said, “We had a special session. We approved three things. Then we had just two small things on the agenda, very small. The reason why is because we had our State of the City address yesterday morning, which gets council and staff at the Maryland Theater at 6:30am. We try to keep a light agenda on that day.” 

What was the reaction to the State of the City address? 

Martinez said, “For me it was important that the State of the City from my perspective showed how much collaboration and work it takes with very different, diverse people with different, diverse backgrounds and political experience. To have as much change as we did during this administration, we have had two mayors, we’ve had two council people, we’ve got a new fire chief, we’ve got a new executive assistant. It was just a lot of change and we still got so much done. It could have been a way to say excuses. We just got here, but we didn’t. We went full speed ahead from the day that we sat down together at that table and we’re all different. We all have different backgrounds and I wanted the State of the City to show it takes all of us.”