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PB Alderman wants mandatory security cameras at businesses

Monday night, the Pine Bluff city council met to discuss the possibility of requiring security cameras in local convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Monday night, the Pine Bluff city council met to discuss the possibility of requiring security cameras in local convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

Alderman George Stepps is sponsoring the ordinance and hopes the mandate will impact violent crime numbers in the city.

"We feel like the cameras are going to be a win-win situation for everybody," said Stepps.

Stepps says security images help the police department solve crimes. If approved, the requirement would be verified by public safety officers.

"The fire department provides annual inspections to businesses and that would be our role in helping to identify the businesses not in compliance," said Fire Chief Shauwn Howell.

Those found in violation would be cited by the police department, which is willing to be somewhat flexible with businessowners

"We want to make sure that we are not coming in and trying to rule with a hammer. So we are willing to work with businessowners by giving them two warnings and up to 90 days to come into compliance," said Brenda Davis-Jones.

There would also be a fine of up to $1000. That issue concerns some council members, but Stepps says the concern can be adjusted.

"Certainly we need something to help apprehend these criminals and get them off the streets. So they won't be able to do crimes in other areas," said Stepps.

The issue will go back to the committee phases for revisions.
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