ATLANTA - Atlanta city leaders are moving forward with plans to require gas stations to install high-definition surveillance cameras after efforts to pass the measure hit a snag last year.
Members of the public safety committee passed the legislation Monday afternoon with lots of support from community members who said convenience stores in the city have become a hotbed for crime.
The latest example—a deadly shooting near a gas station on Metropolitan Parkway over the weekend that claimed a young woman’s life.
"If you’re gonna service in our communities, you should be able to invest in it also," community activist Arleshia McMichael told FOX 5.
Atlanta City Council meeting
McMichael and other residents like Ricky Brown spoke on it during the public comment’s portion of the meeting in a show of support for the legislation that would require high definition cameras inside and outside gas stations with a view of every pump.
"The citizens of this city are in danger, sitting in a war zone where danger is right around the pump," Brown told FOX 5. "I think it’s a small price to pay to invest in cameras so that our citizens can be safe."
The measure introduced by city council member Andrea Boone would also require owners to provide images to police within 72 hours.
"Anything that happens, you should be able to connect directly with the police and have police be able to look at this integrate and then show up," Antonio Lewis, city council member, told FOX 5.
Lewis said council members were able to get around challenges at the state level that delayed the effort last year by adjusting the language.
Residents told FOX 5 increased safety around convenience stores is the only ‘language’ they want to hear.
"Convenience stores and gas stations, which are supposed to be a pillar for our neighborhood, have become a common ground for criminal activity," McMichael said.
"We’ve got to have some serious and tough conversations when it comes to these gas stations and hold them accountable," Brown added.
A similar measure took effect in unincorporated DeKalb County on June 30. Atlanta City Council members will vote on the legislation at the next full council meeting in August. If it passes, city leaders said store owners will have around six months to make the adjustment.