Atlanta city council approves surveillance camera requirement

(The Center Square) — The Atlanta city council signed off on a measure requiring gas stations to have surveillance cameras, a proposal proponents say will keep residents safe.

The measure, prompted by an uptick in car thefts and violence at stations in the city, applies to gas stations and convenience stores connected to gas stations. It is similar to one the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved last year and went into effect on June 30.

The Atlanta ordinance takes effect following the approval of an “implementation plan” the Chief Financial Officer must present to the city’s Finance Executive Committee within 120 days.

“We must remain committed to making the necessary investments and share in the safety concerns of all of Atlanta’s communities and residents,” Atlanta City Council Member Andrea Boone said in a statement.

“Our neighborhoods have experienced the impact of unlawful activities at gas stations, and this is a step to help keep our seniors, children, and patrons safe at the service stations and convenience stores,” Boone added. “Once it goes into effect, this legislation can help assist law enforcement in their attempts to curb the activity and hopefully give our residents a sense of comfort.”

The city council also passed a measure calling on federal and state lawmakers to pass legislation limiting how long freight trains can block a grade crossing.

It recommends penalties of $1,000 for the first infraction, $3,000 for the second offense and $5,000 for the third violation. The penalties for each violation would result from blocking road crossings for more than 15 minutes.

However, a state lawmaker previously told The Center Square that there isn’t much the state can do as the matter falls under the federal government’s jurisdiction.

Councilmembers also authorized Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens to amend the fiscal 2024 Intergovernmental Grant Fund Budget to accept a $30 million Federal Highway Administration grant. The money will go toward the Pryor and Central Safe Street and Protected Bike Lanes Project and allocates $10 million in local matching funds.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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