Security from the store to your car door

From Miami television new channel 10: "Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion Jr. is proposing a county ordinance that will require retail businesses to provide, operate and maintain a security camera video surveillance system to protect customers walking to and from the parking lot." [full article from]

So surveillance protects people walking to-and-from parking lots? Well, maybe not, but here's a list of things that actually help people move safely from a retailer's door to their own car door:

1) good visibility to their vehicle (i.e., not having to walk through an alley and around the building)

2) exceptional parking lot lighting

3) clean area allowing an easy path, even when carrying shopping bags

4) non-allowance of loitering

5) parking lot patrols by guards (or store employees who can collect shopping carts)

I'm not opposed to adding surveillance cameras that can view a parking lot, but that camera isn't likely to be noticed by the customer. Sure, it could be useful for after-the-fact prosecution if it captured a really good image (only likely during the day, and yes, we've seen how most parking lot surveillance cameras look after dusk, and it's not good), but the key is to keep people safe so that we don't have to go back and review surveillance footage.

If you're going to add surveillance cameras, don't think you can get away with just one standard camera and a wide-angle lens. Wal-Mart smartly uses a number of cameras; they seem to recognize that parking lots can't be covered by a single camera (admittedly, their parking lots are usually a wee bit larger than most retailers' lots, but you get the point).

If you've got other tips on how to keep retail parking lots safe, please add them as a comment for our readers and for retail business owners to see. Thanks!