Earlier this year, the Prince George’s County Council passed a new law called the “Jayz Law,” in honor of 13-year-old Jayz Agnew, who was shot and killed while raking leaves in the front yard of his Temple Hills, Maryland, home almost a year ago.
No one on his street had any home security cameras pointed outside, and the teenager’s killers have still not been found.
The law aims to provide county residents with rebates if they install new cameras and store the footage, with the goal of helping police by providing video of crimes. Initial concerns about funding were resolved and the county budgeted $250,000 for the program.
Months later, the program still hasn’t launched yet and it’s not clear when it will. Now, some members of the county council are taking matters into their own hands.
On Friday, District 7 Council member Krystal Oriadha announced she had secured a grant with a nonprofit group called Community on the Frontlines, which will be providing between 100 and 1,000 free security cameras to residents in her district.
“We’ll have the cameras themselves and then you can request for help with installation,” Oriadha said. “And then you’ll get up to a one-year subscription fee for the camera.”
She launched this effort because residents in her district have been clamoring for the countywide program to begin.
“There’s been a lot of people in the community that feel like they aren’t safe and secure,” Oriadha said. “They feel like cameras would help with that, and it’s a real barrier for them to be able to purchase and have the subscription fee, so we’re excited to launch the program.”
A similar program will be unveiled for residents in the county’s 8th District next week, with a grant from Council member Edward Burroughs’ office and Joan’s House of Refuge Inc. A thousand cameras are expected to be available there with assistance provided for installation and maintenance. Only residents in those districts qualify for the free cameras right now.
In a statement from the Office of County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to WTOP, local law enforcement has worked to identify “priority areas in the county” and is now working to “put the infrastructure in place to roll out the program to the public” in regards to implementing the new law countywide.
When the countywide program rolls out, it will provide residents with up to $200 for front-facing cameras, and another $100 for the subscription fee to store the video. At this point, there’s no launch date set for the program.