This is an update to the post titled “Mandated Video Surveillance – Let’s Hope Not…”
According to the Pine Bluff Commercial newspaper, the Pine Bluff City Council passed a revised version of the ordinance that requires certain businesses to install and maintain video surveillance systems. Though well intentioned, the ordinance appears to have been watered down so thoroughly that it is little more than a suggestion – while requiring taxpayer resources to manage compliance.
Initially, the ordinance called for fines of up to $1,000, but after public and council discussions, the fine was decreased to $25 per violation. Businesses open before Jan. 1, 2013, are exempted – unless they make five or more calls to police regarding criminal activity, in which case compliance becomes compulsory. Prominent signage that a business is being monitored by security cameras is also part of the ordinance.
The Pine Bluff fire department will verify surveillance system functionality during annual inspections, and also perform random checks. If a system is found to be below the standards (which do not seem to be defined/published yet), the case is referred to the police department for verification and enforcement. The only specifics so far about what is required are that a business install “one or more” cameras, and that they may not be left inoperable or deliberately deactivated. Hopefully there will be more detail in the final version of the ordinance. If not, I suppose a single camera in the broom closet of a convenience store would pass inspection…?!
See the report from the local news below: