Self Service & Jerky Knees

Detroit City Council's New Knee-Jerk Licensing Requirements Out Of Line

cctv-cameraOne would think there is a point where even the most oppressive government knows when to say when.

I sell security cameras, and the related security recorders. There are few people who understand the advantages of having a properly set up security camera system than myself.  One light think I would always advocate on behalf of my profession. However, like other mandatory (kaf kaf- Obamacare) ‘solutions,’ forcing a business to buy those systems is just plain wrong.  The Detroit news reports that the Detroit city council is doing just that:

“The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to strengthen licensing requirements for self-service gas stations in the city and requires strategically placed indoor and outdoor digital surveillance cameras in the wake of a brutal beating on the city’s east side last week.”

“Licensing Requirements” are being used as an excuse to provide public policing tools (remember, police are there AFTER the events) on the back of the gas station owners.

Of course its not as if the owners don’t have good reasons of their own to have such equipment. (again, insurance mandate analogy) By placing loss prevention tools and discouraging illegal activities on site, owners of these businesses profit by reducing their exposure to loss and theft.

However, by mandating such measures exist in order for the business to exist, the Detroit City Council could be exposing the owners of these businesses to other liabilities.  What if an event happens near or next to such an establishment, and an equipment failure prevents the documentation of the event?  In the case of a loss of property or life, is the station owner not responsible for providing the documentation (under the new rules) as a condition for being open? According to the News:

The videos must be accessible by city officials and provided to law enforcement within one hour of being notified by police of an investigation, the ordinance says. Failure to do so, could result in a search warrant request to seize the video.

If stations do not comply, they will be denied a license renewal and incur fines.

And if they are not in compliance with law, they are likely more vulnerable in a civil lawsuit if found willfully non compliant.

The other aspect of the statement above adds to the hammer blow by local government.

Having spent a few years of my youth working in convenience store gas station environments, I recognize that there are days where one can wish to have a couple extra hands on board.  Given the growing costs, and work rules, some of these operators are likely reducing employees to bare minimums already.

The last thing a lone operator needs on a busy day, is a cop or other official demanding (under the law) that you help him or her go through your video archives so they can solve the bicycle theft of the day. Again, as a matter of community ‘responsibility’ most operators with such systems would gladly assist, but extenuating circumstances that conflict with a requirement that must be met to stay in business restricts the ability to operate that business freely and effectively.

Detroit’s council has learned nothing of its own history with regard to driving business out, and its membership, which seems suddenly shocked by violence within the city, has no concept of voluntary civic responsibility.

And as our legislature ponders caving into the governor’s plan of bailing such stupidity out, the rest of Michiganians footing the bill realize that some things will never change.

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(0)

  3 comments for “Self Service & Jerky Knees

  1. Corinthian Scales
    April 9, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Not to worry your little heads about any of this. Rick Snyder's non-bailout bailout of Detroit will be just fine with the Big Brother forced surveillance responsibility placed upon private property owners. Tho, the additional expense incurred with the hardware mandate will cut into many Detoilet gas station owners recreational funds.

    Say wallah bro.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. KG One
    April 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Detroit has this love/hate thing with local business owners (i.e. Gas stations, C-Stores, Grocery Stores)...they love to hate them.

    A HUGE part of this animosity stems from the fact that the majority of the owners of the businesses I mentioned above are arab-owned and most of Detroit's population is black.

    I've observed this first-hand all across the city, including the blow-ups that occur when the locals feel that they've been "ripped off" for any reason.

    The other part has to do with animosity (envy?) that they have against people who have started/operated a business in the city, while the rest of the city wallows in self-inflicted poverty.

    You have something that i don't, therefore YOU must have stolen it.

    If only I can find a way to "get mine'.

    The children running Detroit are proving that they are no different from the children who have ran Detroit into bankruptcy.

    They are well aware of this animosity among the majority of the residents, and are tapping into it in order to engender support from the voters after they kick Orr out of the city next year.

    And Snyder wants to encourage immigrants to open up businesses in Detroit.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)

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