Houston Council Approves C-Store Changes

Houston City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that will force convenience store owners to beef up security measures by installing cameras and other crime-prevention mechanisms, Texas Cable News reported.

The new law requires the city’s convenience stores to install color digital surveillance cameras as well as other measures, including:
* Annual safety training for all employees.
* “No Trespassing” and “No Loitering” signs on the property, as well as height strips at store exits so employees can gauge a crime suspect’s height.
* Silent panic and holdup alarms.
* Drop safes to minimize access to large amounts of cash.

Convenience stores that don’t comply with the new rules, which take effect in 18 months, face a $500 fine and would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

There was some debate on whether the measures add bureaucracy to small businesses, the report said, though the mayor said security improvements would be good for business.

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