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Convenience stores in DeKalb County will be required to have surveillance cameras by June 30, 2023

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Convenience stores in DeKalb County will be required to have surveillance cameras by June 30, 2023

File photo of a surveillance camera used for illustration purposes.

DeKalb County, GA — Starting June 30, all DeKalb County convenience stores will be required to have working surveillance cameras.

The DeKalb County Commission approved the video surveillance ordinance at its Dec. 13 meeting.

“With the ongoing violence and crime DeKalb County is experiencing, particularly at gas and service stations, the approval of this ordinance couldn’t be more dire,” DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson said in a press release. “The ordinance will be a valuable tool in deterring crime and serving justice to anyone who engages in criminal activity at a DeKalb gas or service station.”

Cochran-Johnson introduced the ordinance.

The ordinance also covers “high-risk” businesses.

A high-risk business is defined in the ordinance as, “having more than three calls for police service within 30 consecutive days or is a retail establishment where a serious crime such as murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, any felony possession or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in violation of Georgia or federal law, any crime involving the use of a firearm or any crime involving human trafficking has occurred.”

Renewing business licenses will also be tied to complying with the new law, which goes into effect on June 30.

According to the ordinance, convenience stores and high-risk businesses must:

— Keep a video surveillance system in continuous operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including outside business hours.

— Meet the minimum standard of 4MP Wi-Fi network cameras that includes digital video recording with 24 frames per second and infrared night vision to ensure clarity.

— Place cameras at registers, points of entry and exit, gas pumps, loading docks, and parking areas.

— Undergo inspection of new construction plans or a one-time initial inspection of video surveillance system to ensure compliance.

– Submit an annual affidavit with each application for the renewal of a business license that the video surveillance system is operational and in full compliance with the applicable requirements and standards within Ordinance, following the initial inspection.

— Place notice of presence of video surveillance system at the register and on premise to inform the public that the premises are actively monitored.

— Make a digital video recording available to the chief or any other peace officer for viewing no later than 72 hours after being requested.

— Store footage for 60 day. Footage must display proper date and time.

— Ensure VSS capture and lighting extends no less than 75 feet off the building periphery.

“All convenience stores that have video surveillance systems installed prior to the effective date will be required to ensure their systems are in full compliance and must obtain an assessment approval from DeKalb County Code Enforcement,” the announcement from the county says. “In addition, all convenience stores must be compliant with the provisions upon opening their doors or before the renewal of their business license.”

Business owners that don’t comply can be cited, fined and possibly imprisoned.

“To implement the program throughout unincorporated DeKalb, six dedicated DeKalb County Code Enforcement personnel will be hired,” the announcement says. “Everyone is encouraged to read the approved video surveillance system legislation in its entirety by clicking here.”

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