Houston City Council passes ordinance requiring security cameras, lighting for some businesses

HOUSTON – Houston City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday that will now require security cameras and lighting at certain businesses.

Houston Police Chief said the new requirements would help combat an increase of violence crime in the city.

“I’m hoping this will help as another tool in the toolbox for HPD and other law enforcement agencies to get more crime solved,” said Tomaro Bell the Chair of public safety and finance at Super Neighborhoods Alliance.

Under the new guidelines, nightclubs, bars, sexually-oriented businesses, convenience stores and game rooms operating in the city will have to install security cameras for enhanced safety, ensuring coverage from the exterior of the business to its property line. The cameras must be working at all times.

Jay Norman, the owner of Biggles Lounge and Sports Café has cameras up at his bar but believes the ordinance unfairly targets hardworking business owners.

“If the city is going to pass an ordinance requiring video footage then lets have it everywhere,” Norman said. “What’s good for one is good for all public places.”

It will also require convenience stores to install lighting in any place where customers are allowed and turned on between sunset and sunrise.

According to the ordinance, a business owner must save video footage for no less than 30 days, and provide HPD with the footage within 72 hours of a request.

The amendment would take effect about three months after it’s approved.

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