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Retail/Restaurants/Convenience / Video Surveillance

Law: Stores Must Install Surveillance, Give Law Enforcement Access

According to a new local law, businesses in White Plains, N.Y., are now required to record quality video of patrons and provide that recording to police on demand. The law was passed last week unanimously by the Common Council, requiring certain merchants to install and maintain digital video camera systems to view and record quality video of everyone who enters.

According to Public Safety Commissioner David Chong, the purpose of the ordinance is to improve public safety and security by deterring individuals from committing crimes, as well as to assist law enforcement in identifying violators.

The new law affects approximately 250 businesses in White Plains, and city officials report that the video systems cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

The ordinance affects pharmacies, any business licensed to sell alcohol, pawn shops, licensed secondhand dealers who buy and sell precious metals, check-cashing businesses, and businesses open between midnight and 4 a.m. Business owners who do not comply can be jailed for up to 15 days and fined a maximum of $250 per day until the cameras are up and running, USA Today reports. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect in February 2015.

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