Mandating security cameras at Atlanta gas stations is illegal, city attorney says

It is back to the drawing board for one Atlanta leader who is trying to find a way to reverse the trend of crime at gas stations

Atlanta City Councilwoman Keisha Waites tried to draft a bill calling for new owners to put up cameras. She also proposed owners who have basic cameras be required to upgrade them at the time of their license renewal. 

While the plan may sound like a step forward, the city council cannot take action. 

City Attorney Nina Hickson advised doing so would be unconstitutional. 

Andrew Beal, a local attorney, explained no city council or county commission can pass regulations that require a company to incur new costs

"The best idea, I think, is the voluntary program," said Beal. 

Darin Schierbaum, the Interim Atlanta Police Department Chief, is taking that approach. 

He is asking gas station owners to plug their cameras into the city network, so police can pull up footage of something that may be happening in their parking lots or adjacent to their properties.

Waites said she's seeking help from state lawmakers to continue pursuing her proposal.