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MPDC Seeks Public Comment on Changes to CCTV System

Friday, November 18, 2005

Revised list of permanent camera locations released; signs posted to notify individuals of possible CCTV use during major events

The Metropolitan Police Department is seeking public comment on recently announced changes to its Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system. In a Public Notice that was published in the DC Register of November 18, 2005, the MPDC released a revised list that now includes 19 permanent CCTV camera locations.


The public may submit comments in writing regarding the CCTV system to the Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 5080, Washington, DC, 20001, or via email.<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /?>


To further publicize its use of CCTV, the MPDC recently posted street signs generally within the viewable area of the Department's permanent cameras. This effort, which complies with the regulatory requirement of 24 DCMR 2502.7, is designed to provide meaningful notice to individuals of the areas where monitoring may occur.


The Metropolitan Police Department uses its CCTV system to support public safety operations in the nation's capital during major events, emergencies, or times of heightened alert for terrorism. The CCTV system monitors public spaces only, with a focus on critical installations that have been identified as potential terrorism targets.


The Metropolitan Police Department's CCTV system is a secure, wireless network operated by the MPDC. The cameras are mounted on various buildings primarily in the downtown DC area.  They focus on public spaces around the National Mall, the US Capitol, the White House, Union Station and other critical installations, as well as major arteries and highways that pass through downtown DC.


The MPDC's CCTV system is not a round-the-clock video monitoring operation.  The system is activated only during major events in the District (such as large-scale demonstrations, the Fourth of July celebration, Presidential Inaugurations, etc.) or during periods of heightened alert for terrorism. CCTV camera feeds are displayed in the MPDC's Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC), a secure facility located on the 5th Floor of police headquarters.


The MPDC's use of CCTV is designed to ensure the protection of personal privacy rights.  Both DC regulations and internal MPDC policy expressly prohibit the arbitrary monitoring of individuals or monitoring of individuals based on race, gender or other factors.  Regulations and policies also prohibit the use of the CCTV system for the purpose of infringing on First Amendment rights. 


Following is the revised list of CCTV camera locations:

  • 1000 block of Jefferson Drive, SW

  • Pennsylvania Avenue & 15th Street, NW

  • 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW

  • 700 block of 18th Street, NW

  • 200 block of Constitution Avenue, NW

  • 700 block of 19th Street, NW

  • 19th Street & Dupont Circle, NW

  • 100 block of Vermont Avenue, NW

  • 400 block of L'Enfant Plaza, SW

  • 1100 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW

  • 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (2 cameras)

  • 800 block of Vermont Avenue, NW

  • Wisconsin Avenue & M Street, NW

  • 1000 block of 19th Street, North (Rosslyn, VA)

  • 3600 block of M Street, NW

  • 500 block of North Capitol Street, NW

  • 1300 block of Wisconsin Avenue, NW

  • 300 block of Independence Avenue, SW

In addition, the MPDC announces that temporary CCTV cameras were deployed to support public safety operations during the recent International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group meetings and related anti-globalization and anti-war demonstrations in DC. From September 23-26, 2005, temporary cameras were deployed generally in the area of the IMF and World Bank buildings, at 19th and G Streets, NW, and in the area of 17th and D Streets, NW.  Temporary cameras were also deployed on September 24, from approximately 12:30-6:30 pm, along the approved demonstration route which was as follows:  the Ellipse to Constitution Avenue, NW; east on Constitution Avenue; north on 15th Street, NW; east on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; north on 17th Street, NW; east on H Street, NW; south on 14th Street, NW; east on Pennsylvania Avenue; south on 9th Street, NW; west on Constitution Avenue, and back to the Ellipse.


Additional information about the CCTV network can be found on the MPDC website.