Reworking Downtown Camera Ordinance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reworking Downtown Camera Ordinance

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The Waterloo City Council is voting a first reading of a recently-adjusted ordinance, which will require some businesses to buy surveillance cameras that the city would use.

Chief Trelka says he made some minor changes to the previous ordinance.

Under this new ordinance, some businesses would have to buy cameras, or if they already have cameras, updates and inspections would be mandatory.

We spoke with John Eveland, the owner of the National Cigar Store who already has cameras, but says he supports the new ordinance.

"We have caught criminals, people shoplifting, and stealing... I just think it's a tool that the Waterloo police department needs," Eveland says.

Not every owner agrees though, we spoke to several businesses who say they are concerned about the price. Police estimate the cost of one of these cameras can go anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

Chief Trelka understands but argues that cameras are necessary if people want to see a change in Waterloo.

"We've had several shootings and more than one homicide where video surveillance from businesses have been incredibly useful to us," Trelka says.

He says these cameras will make the community safer.

Trelka says, "I consider it to be a community policing initiative...how we can work with the community, communicate with the community, and make the community better."

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