Political Notebook

Vote on security camera requirement delayed

This security camera image led to the identification of a suspect in an armed robbery in February at Lo Bucks in Warner Robins in which a clerk was shot and seriously injured. The city delayed a vote that would require stores to turn over surveillance video within an hour after an armed robbery.
This security camera image led to the identification of a suspect in an armed robbery in February at Lo Bucks in Warner Robins in which a clerk was shot and seriously injured. The city delayed a vote that would require stores to turn over surveillance video within an hour after an armed robbery.

Concerns from businesses led to a delay in an expected vote by Warner Robins City Council that would have set a time limit for stores to turn over security camera video after an armed robbery.

The council had earlier held a first reading of the ordinance that would set a one-hour time limit to turn over video following a robbery. The council was supposed to approve it Tuesday but it was taken off the agenda.

Police Chief Brett Evans said businesses had concerns and wanted to ask questions before the ordinance was passed. In a meeting arranged by the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, he met Wednesday with about 20 business owners.

April Bragg, president of the chamber, said primarily businesses weren’t sure whether the ordinance would apply to them. Evans explained that it would only apply to businesses that are required to have security cameras, which are those that sell alcohol or have coin operated machines.

Bragg said after they heard that, there were no objections to the ordinance. It is expected to be voted on at the next council meeting.

Evans had said previously the ordinance is needed because investigators need the video as soon as possible, yet often late at night there is no one at the store who knows how to work the equipment.

City Attorney Jim Elliott said violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor, which could mean up to $1,000 fine or even jail time.

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