Baltimore County to Require CCTV in Mall Parking Lots

March 22, 2005
Bill passes county council, larger shopping centers must record video of their parking areas

Yes, cameras are coming to Baltimore County, Md.'s shopping centers. In a story we reported last week, Baltimore County, Md., was considering requiring all shopping centers with four or more businesses to perform video surveillance of their parking lots. While some specifics of the bill have changed -- including what constitutes the minimum size of a shopping center affected by this law -- the bill has now been approved by the County Council.

The law follows the deadly murder of educator William Bassett, 58, who was shot in a parking garage at the Towson Town Center mall near a Nordrstrom in February. The law, which was approved yesterday despite criticism from local mall owners and the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, is estimated to affect approximately 100 shopping centers in the county.

The new law gives shopping centers 18 months to comply and requires that shopping centers with more than 15 business locations use video surveillance over 75 percent or more of their parking areas.

The law allows for shopping center owners to apply for loans and grants from the county apply for the estimated $10,000 to $50,000 that it will take to install these parking lot and parking garage CCTV systems.

The council also approved the formation of a task force which will look at means to improve security at retail locations. The task force will report back within six months.