DeKalb County officials approve gas station and convenience store ordinance

Amid spike in violence, security cameras mandated at DeKalb Co. gas stations
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:34 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - DeKalb County Commissioners told Atlanta News First that they just passed a new ordinance to crack down on gas station shootings.

According to DeKalb County Commissioner of District 7, Lorraine Cochran Johnson, after two years of discussions the ordinance mandating that all gas stations and convenience stores be required to maintain working security cameras in the unincorporated parts of Dekalb County, just passed the committee and now they are working on developing the roll-out and enforcement plan.

The approval comes after yet another gas station shooting took place in DeKalb County early Thursday morning on Memorial Drive.

“We now will be requiring that footage is held within certain guidelines and one has to surrender it upon request within 72 hours,” District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran Johnson said.

Back in June, Cochran-Johnson proposed a new ordinance to require gas stations and convenience stores to own and operate a surveillance system.

After a spike in violence at gas stations, DeKalb County Police posted this message on their Twitter, reading, “Protect Yourself at the Gas Station” in June.

Cochran-Johnson said all 236 gas stations and convenience stores in unincorporated DeKalb County will be required to maintain a working and compliant 24-hour video surveillance system inside and outside of their location.

“So that we have clear footage, we’ve also agreed to the 75-foot periphery of the building being well-lit, points of entry and exits, as well as at every gas and service station.”

Cochran said the county will now have at least five designated officers in charge of enforcing compliance.

“So that we are able to go out and inspect and certify that cameras are in place and that they are operative and meet minimum guidelines.”

After the one-time inspection, businesses will be responsible for maintaining the cameras in good working order otherwise they could lose their license, according to Cochran.

“Along with your business application, you must submit an affidavit that attests to the fact that your cameras remain in compliance and active.”

However, Atlanta attorney Tom Church said the new rules may still be too vague, especially for a business where there has already been a past of violence, “That could apply to more than convenience stores. You have motels that could be included in that, extended stays, and other places where there are crimes. So for some of these folks, they could argue that they didn’t have any notice that they would be required as a monitored business.”

Cochran said this month they will be working on implementing their rollout and enforcement plan and this will likely be a requirement by January 2023.