Berkeley Moves Forward With Surveillance Camera Ordinance

The Berkeley City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to move forward with an ordinance that would mandate liquor store owners have updated surveillance camera systems at their business.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan said surveillance cameras have helped solve crimes in the city.

"The people we deal with, they want to help us -- they want to solve the crimes," Meehan said.

In August 2013, two people were killed near Bings Liquor on San Pablo Avenue and Delaware Street. Surveillance cameras outside the store helped police put suspects behind bars.

"One of our goals is to make sure we have good evidence," Meehan said. "If there's a crime that occurs, many people want to help us. They're not sure technologically how to make that work."

Councilmember Darryl Moore said the ordinance that forces business owners to standardize surveillance cameras in a high-crime area is a good idea.

Danny Banger, who owns a liquor store in town, said he has not plans to protest the ordinance.

"It's going to be beneficiary to the public, to the people who work here," he said.

The ordinance still must go through a second reading and after that store owners will have 60 to 90 days to find out what types of cameras they need to comply.

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