Atlanta City Council renews push for gas station surveillance cameras after violent weekend
By Joi Dukes
Published July 25, 2022 11:46PM
FOX 5 Atlanta
ATLANTA – After a violent weekend in Atlanta where eight people were shot outside a gas station, city leaders are trying to address crime and safety with new mandates on convenience stores.
Atlanta City Council members are pushing legislation that would require gas stations to have surveillance cameras. One city council member said he believes Atlanta police should also have full access to those cameras.
As someone who grew up on Cleveland Avenue, Atlanta City Council member Antonio Lewis said he is no stranger to the violence that often unfolds at convenience stores in his district.
“I’ve lost a lot of friends at gas stations…particularly the gas station I’m standing at now,” Lewis admitted.
Just 10 minutes away, a gunman fired several rounds at a Shell gas station on Northside Drive early Sunday morning. Atlanta police are still looking for the shooter who sent eight people to the hospital.
“The families want justice…it’s an issue that my generation of leadership has to deal with and I plan to be the one to do it,” Lewis said.
FOX 5 has reported on a council push to require gas stations to have surveillance cameras, but Lewis said he also wants to require owners to connect those cameras to the Atlanta Police Department’s Connect Atlanta public safety program.
“If a violent crime happens there, police now have access to that camera…they have access from that day and 100 days before that time,” Lewis explained.
The challenge for council is the mandate would require change at the state level. Lewis said they plan to push state lawmakers to pass legislation granting the approval. In the meantime, he said they’re trying to encourage convenience store owners to join APD’s network voluntarily.
“They can see if the person who committed that crime comes there frequently. They can see who they talk to and it just makes people feel safer,” Lewis said.
The newly launched program allows businesses and individuals to participate. So far, almost 4,300 cameras have been registered and more than 6,400 have been integrated, so police can access feeds during an emergency.
Lewis said city council members plan to discuss the proposal to state lawmakers in the next full council meeting, which is scheduled for August 1.