By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City Council will consider a bill that would force all Philadelphia bars to install exterior security cameras, although the sponsor is already showing a willingness to back off the requirement.
Councilman Curtis Jones has, as promised, introduced a bill that mandates exterior security cameras at the exits of all drinking establishments. This comes in the wake of the death last year of college student Shane Montgomery. The language of Jones’s bill is clear – this would be a requirement. But Jones admits it may be amended so bars are merely encouraged to do so, rather than forced.
“We are going to discuss whether it is an enticement and incentive, or in cases of troubled businesses that have had criminal history around their property, a mandate.”
Jones may be hesitant to push an a citywide requirement because some bars believe the cost of mandatory security cameras would be exorbitant.
“What we’re doing is engaging in discussions with stakeholders on how we should apply the cameras to certain businesses that serve alcohol. Bills are meant to be amended.”
Jones says the family of Shane Montgomery requested this legislation and may testify when the ordinance is debated. Montgomery died last fall after leaving a bar on Main Street, which is in Jones’s district. The bar had no working cameras, and Jones believes had they been working, Montgomery’s body might have been found sooner.