Gas stations in Metro Atlanta’s DeKalb County are preparing for a new ordinance requiring them to install or upgrade their security cameras.
The local law is aimed at deterring crime, helping with crime investigations and making people feel safer as they gas up their vehicles, especially at night.
“Many residents will not visit gas stations after dark,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Jackson, who pushed for better gas station security. “This is the responsibility of the property owner.”
She estimates that 90% of the county’s gas stations already have some kind of security cameras in place.
But the local law, which goes into effect June 30, applies to all of the county’s 248 gas stations.
It also requires high-definition cameras, with specific pixel and data storage requirements, to be installed in specific places, including at the pumps.
That might require stores to upgrade their equipment.
And while some Georgia municipalities already require cameras at stores that sell alcohol or operate gaming machines, which might include gas stations, the DeKalb County ordinance appears to be the first and broadest of its kind in the state.
“Several other counties have reached out, including the city of Atlanta, and requested copies of the legislation,” Cochran-Jackson said. “The long-term effect of this, I believe, will far outweigh the cost.”
Six full-time compliance officers will enforce the ordinance.
Gas stations could lose their business licenses if they don’t comply.
A spokesperson for the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores did not respond to requests for comment.
This story comes to Rough Draft Atlanta through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.