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Union City Singles Out Liquor Licenses for Camera Security Ordinance

In a measure aimed at “protecting the safety and welfare of the residents”, Union City officials introduced an ordinance last week which would require all liquor licenses within Union City to install security cameras inside/outside of the licensed premises. According to NJ.com article, Union City officials believe that the ordinance will address “issues plaguing the city,” such as “public drinking, panhandling, altercations, loitering and narcotic activity outside establishments selling alcoholic.”

Local liquor license owners, while receptive to the idea of enacting measures to protect residents, felt singled-out by the ordinance. Prashant Patel, the owner of International Discount Liquors on 43rd Street, said that while this measure is good for the safety of the community, he wants it to apply to everyone — all businesses. 

What Does The Security Camera Ordinance Require?

Pursuant to the language of the ordinance, these liquor license owners will be required to pay for the acquisition, installation and maintenance of these security cameras. Cameras must be installed at all entrances/exits, frontal perimeter and parking areas. 

Considering the extensive areas required to be covered, business owners of liquor stores, bars or restaurants can expect to heavy costs for these security cameras.

Additionally, simply have recordings will not suffice. Owners are required to also retain these recordings for upwards of 60 days and these recordings must also be made available to the Union City Police Department and Union City’s Alcoholic Beverage Control.

What are the Penalties for Violating the Ordinance?

Assuming the law is passed at the April 30th meeting, owners will have four months to come into compliance. Failure to comply with the ordinance will result in a fine and possible license suspension

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