Newark Municipal Council President Anibal Ramos joined police officials Monday to announce the roll-out of a new law that will require city bars and liquor stores to install security cameras.
“With those security cameras in place, merchants will have an extra layer of protection against people who knowingly and repeatedly disregard the law,” Ramos said in a statement.
The law, passed Oct. 17 by the council, states that any business with a liquor license must place cameras to monitor entrances, exits, parking lots and the area outside the front of a business. Officials gathered at the El Merengue restaurant on Broadway for a press conference commended Ramos, who introduced the legislation.
The aim of the law is to provide police with additional video surveillance to help cut down on crime. Police Director Samuel DeMaio said a video recording was instrumental in capturing suspects in the murder of a bodega owner last year. Officials said the new law may eventually be expanded to include markets.
The cameras will also help fight quality-of-life crimes such as loitering, officials said. Rafael Concepcion, owner of El Merengue, said that cameras installed at the business have led to a reduction in prostitution and car break-ins in the area.
Lt. Adolph Perez, who heads the NPD’s Alcoholic Beverage Control office, said several businesses have already installed cameras on their own, adding that there is no requirement about how elaborate the systems have to be.
“We’re not mandating that. You can go to Costco and get something for just a few hundred dollars,” Perez said.
Chief of Police Sheilah Coley said merchants will “have a reasonable amount of time to have a system installed” if they don’t have one already.