Atlanta officials want to mandate cameras at all gas stations to fight crime

City leaders want cameras at all gas stations
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:05 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - High prices at the pump are one concern, the other is becoming a growing trend here in metro Atlanta.

“I see it everywhere I go,” Atlanta resident Art Skrine said.

Crime scenes have become all too familiar at local gas stations.

It’s one reason Atlanta councilmember Keisha Waites would like to mandate that every gas station and convenience store in the city install working security cameras.

“I no longer pump fuel in the evenings simply because I don’t feel safe,” Waites said. “We’re asking that they invest in commercial grade cameras and maintain the footage for a 90-day period of time that way individuals who are investigating these different homicides or issues that we’re having they would have access to footage.”

City leaders believe the high-tech cameras will deter crime and assist investigators while the Atlanta Police Department is dealing with a shortage of officers. But it’s not that easy.

“We have to have approval from the state government because state law prohibits us from passing on or imposing a tax on a business owner unless it’s surrounding the issue of assisting law enforcement individuals or public safety too,” Waites said.

Garnering state support for such a mandate may be challenging. State Representative Jay Collins chairs the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and said he has concerns about requiring businesses to cover the cost and would rather invest in law enforcement.

“It is our belief that this is a small price to pay to ensure public good,” Waites said.

At the BP gas station on Memorial Drive in Atlanta, CBS46 asked the manager if he would be willing to cover the cost to upgrade his security cameras and he said it’s a real good idea and he’s willing to pay the price.