- Stores that sell beer, wine or distilled spirits "to go"
- Stores that sell firearms
- Pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers and coin dealers
- Check-cashing businesses
- Banks and credit unions
- Fast food restaurants
- Convenience stores
- Shopping centers that include one or more of the establishments listed above
The biggest question from businesses was: Who would be responsible for funding the new video system? In response, the city established a financial assistance program for small businesses that conform to the ordinance. Independently owned businesses with no more than three locations may apply to receive a loan for 50 percent of the cost of the surveillance equipment, up to $5,000. Shopping center owners may apply if what they own is less than one acre. The four-year loan has a zero percent interest rate. Funding for the program is limited and applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If businesses comply with the ordinance for five years, the city, using economic development funds, forgives the loan.
When police departments and others call asking Kirkland how they might establish a similar ordinance, he says offering businesses funding assistance is key.
He is grateful, too, that Hanin lent the police department an economic development specialist and a community outreach specialist.
The police department also got help from the private industry, creating technical specifications that would be achievable for businesses and useful to police. Regan estimates he spent two weeks talking to people about security and technology, including big security system representatives and small alarm installers, casino security, and a physics professor. Specifically, he says ADT, Bay Alarm, and Bay Area Alarm Association were helpful.
At the time, DVR technology was starting to take hold, therefore the ordinance requires a digital video recorder.
- Have one dedicated channel for each camera in operation
- Have a recording resolution of 640 x 480 or better
- Be able to record at 15 frames per second, per camera. For example, a system with 10 cameras would need to have a DVR capable of recording at least 150 frames per second.
- Have enough memory to retain data from all cameras for a period of 30 days
- Be able to view and retrieve data while the system remains in operation
- Be able to time stamp and watermark the recorded images
- Be able to burn DVD-R copies (to be played in a standard DVD player or Windows Media Player)
- Operate with a minimum of 480 Total Vertical Lines of resolution
- Be able to record color images and switch to black and white recording in low light
The following should be taken into consideration when selecting camera type:
- Distance to target image
- Lux rating, or compatibility with the amount of light available to include excessive amounts of sunlight
- Camera view angle in relation to the desired area of coverage
Monitors must be:
- 15 inches LCD or larger (Size is measured diagonally)
Power supply must be:
- A dedicated power source for the system
Kirkland describes the technical specifications outlined in the ordinance as being at the low end of a very good system. Without going into detail, he says the El Cerrito City Hall and PD have cameras inside and outside that comply with the ordinance.
Promoting moral responsibility
Once the ordinance was passed, the news media helped promote it. The ACLU thought the ordinance would promote an invasion of privacy, but Kirkland says, "We made it very clear that the ordinance was not being designed for any area that was not publicly accessible."
Signs in the stores and stickers on entrance doors remind customers they are under video surveillance. "We want to make sure this is public," Kirkland says.
Primarily, the response to the ordinance has been positive. Of the approximately 80 businesses that fall under the ordinance, he says only one did not initially comply and threatened to challenge the ordinance legally, but did not. "My question is, why would you?" asks Kirkland. "The purpose of the ordinance is to protect your customers and your employees. When you look at it from a moral and an ethical standpoint, I think you do have a responsibility to protect your employees."