Hardly a week, or even a day, goes by on our news that we don’t show you surveillance video of criminals in action. Often, when we show you the video, it leads directly to an arrest.
But this kind of video serves an even more important purpose. It can prevent crime. Recently, Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards told us he believes the crime rate would go down if more businesses had good security systems. Police tell us they know burglars and robbers often target places that do not have cameras.
In Albany, only stores that sell alcohol are required to have surveillance cameras. We think it’s time for city leaders to update the ordinance. Certainly, all financial institutions and loan businesses should be required to have systems. Perhaps, they should be mandated in other businesses as well, such as fast food restaurants.
Quality surveillance systems aren’t terribly expensive anymore. Most businesses could afford them, and for the safety of our community, it’s time for the city to study the best way to expand the law.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.