CUMBERLAND, Md. — The recent receipt of a state safety grant will help bolster downtown safety.
At Tuesday’s Cumberland Economic Development Corporation meeting, executive director Matt Miller announced the receipt of $95,400 from the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Safety Works grant program.
Miller said the funds “will cover the costs of cameras, computer equipment, monitors, communications equipment, video recorders and labor.”
Additionally, the funding will provide Ring doorbell cameras to interested downtown business owners. These cameras, Miller said, will prove particularly useful in providing “additional camera angles and window-level visibility in as many storefronts as possible, and will be useful during police investigations of unfortunate incidents downtown.” .
Miller said the security upgrades complement planned renovations to the Baltimore Street pedestrian mall.
“It’s a great win for us,” Miller said. “Obviously downtown safety is our biggest concern, especially with the project coming and going, so this was a big expansion of the services that the police department currently offers.”
The CEDC worked with the Downtown Development Commission and city police on the request, and was the group to submit it to the state.
“It’s just another way to improve downtown, alongside revitalization,” said DDC executive director Melinda Kelleher. “It’s an added benefit for our downtown businesses.”
David Goad, director of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network program for the Cumberland Police Department and former Allegany County Sheriff, said the new technology will help police do their job while maintaining safety and fighting crime. The combination of building-top cameras and Ring systems will provide a bird’s-eye view of downtown activity, Goad said.
The cameras “are a major deterrent” against potential criminal activity, Goad said.
“You will be able to see things happen,” Goad said. “If someone has a traffic accident in the mall and decides they’re not going to stay, we’ll see that as well.”
“We are very pleased and pleased that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has been kind enough to bestow this award,” Goad said. “We’re very happy with that. We’ve been lucky. I think working with the CEDC, the (DDC) and the police department really shows there’s a need for the things that we’re trying to do. “