My name is Christopher A. Etienne. I am a resident and taxpayer of Hyattsville, Maryland. Currently, I work for a Member of the United States Congress on Capitol Hill. I earned my master's degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and my bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The morning of Thursday, October 4, 2018 I was informed by a family member that a burglar, or group of thieves, broke her car window and stole all of her items from her car that was parked inside the University Town Center Garage B - Lot# 39 - B, garage number "P1." She has filed a police report and others of this kind. However, the Atlantic Services Group, Inc., the operators of the University Town Center Garage, do not have security cameras installed inside this parking garage.

According to the Prince George's County Police department, one of the biggest misconceptions about auto theft is where they occur. As you may know, more than 33% of all vehicle thefts occur near the car owner's residence and around 20% of thefts occur in parking lots.

I am proposing to the public servants representing the City of Hyattsville, Maryland to require the Atlantic Services Group, Inc. to strongly consider installing security cameras inside and around, the different parking levels, of the University Town Center Garage B - Lot# 39 - B. This is a needed public safety for the residents and college students, especially for the female residents and college students who own vehicles. Parking garage security cameras could discourage a thief and encourage a resident.

One discouraged resident said, "Despite the high prices for parking charged in this garage, Atlantic has essentially no security in this garage at all. I've parked here for two years and have seen countless people have items stolen from their cars. More recently cars have had their windows bashed in, tires stolen, and locks broken. A complete waste of money to pay to be in this garage when Atlantic is not going to bother to put up cameras or do security patrols."

In closing, the University Town Center Garage B needs video surveillance. Video surveillance is another essential deterrent for parking garage crime. The simple presence of well-marked, vandal-resistant cameras is an effective deterrent. And, if watched carefully enough with remote monitoring services and/or paired with intelligent video monitoring software and remote speakers, it may be able to prevent crimes or stop them as they happen – without the prohibitive expense of multiple on-site security guards. The phone numbers listed for Atlantic Services Group, Inc. is (301) 779-9696 and (301) 214-2490.

I look forward to your prompt response and working with you to protect the public safety.

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CJ Arrindell about 1 month ago

Just some suggestions... encourage other affected residents to join you in speaking up and out on this issue. Have you contacted the parking garage operator requesting that they install cameras or take action to try to prevent theft and vandalism in their garages? Maybe a group of parking tenants can meet with the garage operator to discuss this issue. Who awards the parking operator contracts? Is it a privately owned garage or city owned? Also have you been in touch with your Hyattsville council member(s) on this issue?

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