CCTV Cameras to Be Required in Shopping Center Parking Lots?

The County Council of Baltimore County, Md., has proposed a law that would require surveillance cameras be installed in shopping center parking lots to provide additional security in those public spaces.

The law would apply to any shopping center featuring five or more stores that are connected by walls, or are jointly owned or operated (i.e., by a property management company or the same company) and that share a common parking lot or garage.

The proposed bill (full text) would require 24-hour surveillance of such shopping centers, and would have to archive the recordings for a minimum of 72 hours. The bill also says that the footage from these surveillance cameras would also have to be available to the police if requested.

The bill, which does not specify how many cameras would need to be installed, other than to say that the cameras must be able to view the perimeters of the parking lots, would set a fine of $500 per day for any facility not complying, and that, if passed, shopping centers in Baltimore County that meet the listed requirements would have one year to make their parking areas compliant with the surveillance requirement.

According to the council, the bill was introduced by council members Kamenetz and McIntire on Feb. 22, 2005. The bills will be in discussion on Tuesday, March 15 at work session; the council has publicized that the "final reading and vote will occur at the Legislative Session on March 21, 2005, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers."

[Editor's note: Since this article was written, the bill has been approved. See the article under our Related Stories link below.]>/p>