The Dekalb County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to require surveillance cameras in unincorporated parts of the county, effective June 30, 2023.
“We know that the gas stations and convenience stores in general have seen an increase in violent crimes and gun murders and gun violence. This new ordinance ensures that anyone who perpetrates a violent crime on site will be documented with a high-definition quality audio visual equipment, and then also, hopefully, the ability to tie in to the overall system that the police department uses in real time,” Commissioner Ted Terry said.
“Unfortunately, because of intransigence at the federal and state level because of guns that are proliferating in our community, it basically means that local governments have to expend more resources to stem the increasing tide of gun violence,” he said, noting that six code compliance positions will be added to oversee implementation of the regulation in the more than 250 convenience stores that are affected.
Terry chairs the Employee Relations and Public Safety Committee, which advanced the bill to the commission in November. Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson first proposed a similar measure in February.
On Tuesday, she said the regulation would require 24-hour surveillance through Wi-Fi networked cameras of at least four megapixels that can take 24 frames per second and capture infrared images at night. Accurate timestamps are required by the regulation, footage must be stored for at least 60 days, and footage must be provided to law enforcement within 72 hours of a request. Inspection plans for new construction must include cameras, following the regulations.
“I look forward to it serving its purpose and helping to deter crime, and if there is a crime, to swiftly bring individuals to justice, who perpetrate crimes at gas and service stations,” Cochran-Johnson said.
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