More than six months after Broward, Fl., Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Reyka was gunned down in the parking lot of a drug store, two wanted posters are taped to the store’s sliding glass doors, says the Miami Herald. Because the store did not have a surveillance camera, Reyka’s friends and colleagues have joined with state and local lawmakers to expand an existing Florida law and push for local ordinances to require certain late-night businesses to install outdoor cameras. Supporters of the proposed law say the cameras not only help protect residents and businesses, they help solve crimes.
Critics — which include the business community and civil libertarians — raise concerns about privacy, effectiveness, and cost. Security experts say there’s not enough evidence to prove the cameras catch more criminals or that they’re cost-effective. ”A lot of these crimes happen at night, so they might not be able to get a clear picture,” said James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. The proposed Florida law would either require all-night stores to install cameras if they’ve had a recent felony or would reward businesses that do. Some proposed local laws go further, requiring round-the-clock stores to install outdoor cameras. Other major cities, including Baltimore and Chicago, have pushed for similar requirements, with mixed success. Rick McAllister, president of the Florida Retail Federation, which represents 12,000 companies, said he doesn’t think the law is necessary.