How secure are Prince George’s Co. apartment complexes? Council member has doubts

While violent crime is up 3% in Prince George’s County, Maryland, property crime has skyrocketed compared to last year, up 53%.

Crimes involving burglaries are seeing the biggest increases. Over 3,000 vehicle break-ins have been reported in Prince George’s County, up almost 20% from last year. Nearly 3,800 cars have been stolen, up 179%.

Recently, District 6 Council member Wala Blegay was meeting with some constituents at a complex restricted to residents 55 and older — to talk about public safety, no less — when a pair of vehicles were broken into.

“When I talked to the management there, they told me the cameras had not worked in two years,” said Blegay. “For any apartment facility, there should be safety there. People should feel safe. And they should have working cameras. This is standard across the country.”

On Tuesday, she introduced a bill that would require apartments to have working security cameras covering the outside of buildings, to include parking lots and entrance ways, and to save that footage for at least 30 days.

“The good actors already have this, so this is about those that are not,” said Blegay. “It’s always about that select few.”

When it comes to complexes that are for residents 55 and older, the bill also requires security guards to be on premises at least 12 hours a day, though it would be up to the complex to decide which 12 hours.

“We want our seniors to feel safe and in some areas they don’t feel safe,” said Blegay. “We have a lot of age-restricted units in my district that have security. In certain places, we need security to make sure that our seniors feel safe … they’re a vulnerable community.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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