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Gun store and other business owners are now required to install security cameras to help law enforcement in Saginaw, Mich.
The new ordinance in the city requires most businesses to install at least three security cameras by March 1, 2019.
The cameras will take pictures of the face of every person entering and leaving businesses, and every person who walks up to the cash register, Michigan Live reported. Cameras will cover the parking lot, too.
“The individuals who have the businesses will receive a certificate from the police department when they have been approved for their lighting and for their camera system,” Saginaw Police Chief Bob Ruth told Michigan Live.
Businesses that refuse to follow the new law will face a civil infraction, Ruth said.
“I think the extra work that we’re doing is far outweighed by the quality of work we’re going to get in the end, on the way we’ll be able to solve cases,” Ruth said. “It’s really going to help us.”
Businesses required to install the cameras include: gun dealers, banks, coin dealers, scrap dealers, hotels, motels, gas stations, party stores, phone sellers, pawnbrokers, pool halls, dance halls, and second-hand merchants, Michigan Live reported.
Civil libertarians acknowledged the benefit of security cameras to catch criminals but opposed the idea of cities forcing businesses to install them.
“It’s not unusual for a city or a police department to attempt to force a business to shell out for surveillance equipment and other costly security demands when violent crime or drug dealing frequently takes place on or near the premises,” Scott Shackford of Reason.com wrote. “… It’s less common for a city to make these demands in advance and absent any evidence that a particular business is a crime incubator.”
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