All convenience stores must be in compliance by June 30, 2023
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a Video Surveillance Ordinance which will require convenience stores and high-risk businesses to own and operate a video surveillance system.
“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,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. “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.”
Initially introduced on Feb. 22 by Commissioner Cochran-Johnson, the approved legislation defines high-risk businesses for legal purposes and allows DeKalb County to extend those requirements to any business deemed high-risk to ensure public safety. It also ties the ability to renew a business license to video surveillance system compliance.
It will officially go into effect June 30, 2023, at which time all existing convenience stores must be in compliance with all provisions of the ordinance.
A few key items in the legislation state that 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.
- Mandatory placement of cameras at registers, points of entry and exit, gas pumps, loading docks, and parking areas.
- Mandatory inspection of new construction plans or a one-time initial inspection of video surveillance system to ensure compliance.
- After the initial inspection, the applicant must 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.
- Place notice of presence of video surveillance system at the register and on premise to inform the public that the premises are actively monitored.
- A digital video recording must be made available to the Chief or any other peace officer for viewing no later than 72 hours after being requested.
- Mandatory storage of footage for 60 days.
- Footage must display proper date and time.
- VSS capture and lighting must extend no less than 75 feet of 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. In addition, all convenience stores must be compliant with the provisions upon opening their doors or before the renewal of their business license.
Failure to adhere to the requirements of the ordinance, upon citation by a county employee and conviction of the violation in a court of competent jurisdiction, may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.
To implement the program throughout unincorporated DeKalb, six dedicated DeKalb County Code Enforcement personnel will be hired.
Everyone is encouraged to read the approved video surveillance system legislation in its entirety by clicking here.
“I am grateful to the administration and my fellow Board of Commissioners for their support of this legislation,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “The future of public safety will rely heavily on technology and education. This ordinance moves us progressively towards creating minimum standards for best practices that protect the community and put criminals on notice their behavior is monitored.”
For media coverage or to schedule an interview with Commissioner Cochran-Johnson, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470-889-4211.