Prince George’s Co. gets new cameras to catch litterbugs

WTOP: Catching litterbugs in the act of dumping, trashing and polluting is at the heart of Prince George’s County, Maryland, using new “covert” cameras.

Local leaders have complained about the litter and the outright dumping of bulk trash and waste.

The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment was able to buy new cameras through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“You’re not going to spot them at all, in the daytime nor in the night,” said Tiaa Rutherford, the Litter Reduction Program Manager, also known as the County’s Litter Czar.

The county described the cameras as “advanced” in their usage.

“They’re 24 hours. They’re not as sensitive as our other cameras are, so the technology is absolutely going to help us to see very clearly, persons and vehicles that are being used in the commission of an environmental crime,” Rutherford said.

The cameras are mobile and work in all conditions to capture license plates. They can even work in poorly lit places.

“We’re really after those big offenders,” Rutherford said, adding that other cameras the county uses have also worked to catch people before.

In a statement, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said that county residents “are tired of seeing mattresses, couches, and other items dumped along our roads and in our communities. By deploying these advanced mobile surveillance cameras, we are adding another tool to help us hold people accountable and keep our County clean and beautiful.”

Deployment of the new cameras has already begun.

“These systems will enable us to issue fines and convict dumpers,” said Prince George’s County Department of the Environment Director Andrea Crooms in a statement.

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