Commercial Security Camera Ordinance on Tap in Iowa Municipality

In Waterloo, law enforcement and city officials are proposing that retailers and other businesses upgrade their video surveillance systems to meet higher standards.

WATERLOO, Iowa – City officials here are moving forward with a plan to boost security camera requirements at convenience stores and other businesses targeted by criminals.

Waterloo City Council members voted unanimously this week to move the proposed ordinance to a vote in the coming weeks after the idea first unveiled in May failed to generate negative feedback, according to The Courier.

Dan Trelka, director of safety services, told the newspaper he will wait several weeks before putting the measure on a council agenda for a vote to ensure businesses affected by the proposal can get answers to any questions or concerns they may have.

“We’re in no hurry to do this, but it’s about time we did it,” Trelka said. “The old policy is dated.”

The current ordinance adopted in 1993 essentially requires convenience and liquor stores to have a security camera at the cash register and still refers to outdated VHS tapes, according to the report.

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The proposed ordinance would expand the requirements to other businesses, including banks and credit unions, carry-out restaurants, coin dealers, payday lenders, firearm dealers, hotels, cellular phone dealers, money transmission services, pawn brokers, pharmacies, scrap metal dealers and second-hand goods dealers.

It would also upgrade the technology requirements and mandate cameras at entrances and exits, the cash register and the parking lot.

Police Lt. Greg Fangman told the newspaper the city is not requiring “top of the line” systems, noting a five-camera DVR system can be purchased for $1,000.

“We’re making it so it is affordable,” he said. “We want quality footage for a reasonable price.”

Businesses would have a year to comply with the new standards once they’re adopted.

“It will affect some, there’s no doubt,” Fangman said. “But for the most part, a lot of businesses already have this.”

Fangman and Trelka said cameras in stores help solve crimes but also serve as a deterrent when criminals know they’re being watched.

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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