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Danger on the street. Blue flasher on the police car at night.

12.20.23 – Online Madison – By DUNCAN DENT

Business owners in the Lucky City have until July to install security cameras on their premises if they do not already have them.

The City of Gluckstadt on December 13, 2022, adopted an ordinance requiring security cameras for businesses within the city of Gluckstadt. The ordinance requires that “every retail business center shall have 18 months from the passage of this ordinance” to comply with its requirements. 

Retail business centers that commence operations after the effective date of this ordinance “shall comply with the requirements of this ordinance prior to the commencement of operation,” a statement from Police Chief Barry Hale said. Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a $500 fine. 

Each day of non-compliance will constitute a separate violation. 

Requirements of the ordinance include the installation of security cameras for the parking lot, entry and exit door, and for businesses to keep their recording for 30 days. Businesses will also be required to post signage that states that the premises are monitored by surveillance cameras.

According to the text of the ordinance it aims to “Improve the solvability of crimes in those areas and deter and prevent future crimes.”

Hale met with business leaders on Dec. 6, to discuss the ordinance. The event was organized by members of the Police Department as well as Elizabeth Fulcher and the Gluckstadt Madison Business Alliance.

“Thank you to everyone that joined us,” Hale said. 

Security cameras can reduce the risk of theft, vandalism, break-ins, shoplifting, and other security breaches, a statement from the Gluckstadt Police Department said. 

According to GPD, recent studies show that small businesses can lose as much as $50,000 annually due to theft and vandalism incidents. They also noted criminals tend to target more vulnerable locations, especially those without security cameras present.

In the United States, burglaries can happen as frequently as every 12 seconds on average, GPD said.

Burglaries in the U.S. lead to over $3.4 billion in property and personal loss annually, according to crime statistics from the FBI.

“Video surveillance footage is one of law enforcement’s best investigative tools for business-related criminal activity including theft and vandalism,” GPD said.

Security cameras may also reduce liability in legal disputes and help avoid costly legal expenses from false or dishonest claims.