The Atlanta City Council recently approved legislation for an ordinance that will require gas stations to install and maintain video surveillance systems.

The ordinance will be effective following approval of an implementation plan presented by the city’s chief financial officer to the Finance Executive Committee no later than 120 days following the approval of the ordinance during the City Council’s Aug. 7 meeting.

The new surveillance requirements are said to impact more than 250 businesses within the city limits.

The ordinance states, “All Service stations shall be required to install a continuous video recording system dedicated to all fuel pumps. Such cameras  must be capable of producing a retrievable and identifiable image … that can be made a permanent record and that can be enlarged through projection or other means. Cameras meeting the requirements of this section shall be maintained in proper working order at all times and shall be in operation during all hours in which such establishment is opened for business.”

The ordinance also mandates gas stations to have immediate availability of a back-up camera system in the event the primary system becomes inoperable. “If a crime occurs or an employee believes a crime has occurred, the police department shall be contacted immediately, and the film retrieved by a designated police officer,” the ordinance states.

The Atlanta City Council hopes the legislation will help to reduce crime and the number of car thefts and violence at service stations throughout Atlanta.

In July, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an analysis of police data that showed officers responded to nearly 5,500 calls for service across 14 gas stations along busy Martin Luther King Jr. corridor, located on the west side of Atlanta, since January 2022. Those calls resulted in just 376 arrests.

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