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2.8.24 – Starkville Daily News

Starkville leaders are considering an ordinance that would make certain retail establishments set up security cameras around the outside of their stores. The Board of Aldermen held its first public hearing for the ordinance on Tuesday evening.

Commercial and retail establishments that are over 5,000 square feet or have more than 25 parking spots would be required to place security cameras by the entrances and exits of the building, Mayor Lynn Spruill said. Landlords and property owners would have to install the cameras within a year of the ordinance’s adoption if the board passes the motion in the future, she added.

Spruill said the city would require convenience stores and other stores that sell alcohol and “cannabis-derived products” to install cameras whether or not they meet the square footage and parking space requirements. Apartment complexes and private living spaces would not have to set up cameras under the ordinance for privacy reasons, she explained.

Police Chief Mark Ballard said security cameras are “essential” for identifying criminals because cameras do not lie. He said cameras provide accurate information at a cost-effective price.

“Cameras give us accuracy to the event of what occurred or what didn’t occur, because there are a lot of false crimes that are put out there that could be devastating to the university community economically,” Ballard said.