Waterloo City Council to discuss surveillance cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo City Council to discuss surveillance cameras

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(KWWL) -

In an effort to reduce crime, Waterloo Police want more businesses to have surveillance cameras.

It's an ordinance being discussed tonight at the Waterloo City Council meeting. 

Waterloo Police say the current ordinance is out of date, and only applies to convenience stores. 

Nothing has been decided on, but it's something Waterloo police say will help combat the slew of break-ins and burglaries happening in Waterloo.

If Waterloo City Council does move forward with this, business owners themselves will have to foot the bill.  

It's not uncommon for businesses to have surveillance cameras. You see them inside, and even on the outside. 

Waterloo Police Lieutenant Greg Fangman says most businesses in Waterloo already have surveillance cameras. 

Fangman says the current ordinance that was created in 1993 is long out of date. 

"Some businesses up to a few months ago even, still had VHS tapes," said Fangman. "The problem with that was, you know they'd be re-wound, taped again, after you do that a few times, the quality is just poor, even if it was state of the art." 

The new proposed ordinance would expand to more than just convenience stores. The ordinance would apply to banks, credit unions, carry-out food and drink establishments, coin dealers, delayed deposit service businesses, firearm dealers, hotels and motels, liquor or alcohol business, media businesses, mobile communication retailers, money transmission services, pawn brokers, pharmacies, scrap metal dealers, and second hand goods dealers. 

He hopes this ordinance will force businesses that don't have cameras to install them. As well as, update technology for businesses who already do.

One of those business owners is Miguel Palomares of El Patron. He already has one camera inside his restaurant, but he has been looking into installing more.

"Probably, we will feel more safe here, and the people that try to do crime will think about it," said Palomares. 

Waterloo Police say it will be a tool to help in their investigations of break-ins and vandalism as well. 

"There was consideration, knowing there was an expense going to be associated with it," said Fangman. "Obviously, you know the business community, we're not trying to break them by keeping up to date with all this stuff. So that's why we're reasonable with our requirements to where it will provide a good quality video for us to analyze, when a crime is committed on their properties. 

Waterloo Police estimate the cost of one of those surveillance cameras for a business would run anywhere from $500 to $1,000. 

If the ordinance moves forward, it will be enforced on a case by case basis. Police will require businesses who have been targeted by criminals more frequently to install cameras first and then move down the list. 

For more information on the proposed ordinance, see the Waterloo City Council website. 

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