George Hunter |The Detroit News | June 4, 2017
Detroit police and city officials are drafting an ordinance that would make it mandatory for all venues that serve customers after 10 p.m. to join Project Green Light, a program that allows officers to monitor businesses’ high-definition video feeds in real time.
All businesses open that late — from party stores and gas stations to sports stadiums like Comerica Park and venues like the Fox Theatre — would be subject to the ordinance if it’s passed, police said.
Police report double-digit reductions in violent crime at businesses that have enrolled in Project Green Light, and they hope the ordinance will result in similar drops in crime citywide. Others insist it would be government overreach to force businesses to join the program, raising privacy concerns and questioning whether such a broad ordinance would be legal.
Companies that sign up for the Green Light program install video cameras, and the live footage is sent to the Detroit Police Real-Time Crime Center, where officers and civilian employees monitor the activity. Businesses in the program also agree to keep their properties well-lit. Officers perform extra patrols at the city’s 123 Green Light locations.
University of Detroit-Mercy law professor Larry Dubin said the ordinance could face challenges in court.
“This ordinance would raise certain issues if challenged,” he said. “Are there alternative ways to accomplish its goals? Do other cities have this type of ordinance, and if so, (what are) their results? What are the unintended consequences of having this law? These types of issues could raise doubt as to whether this law would be a proper exercise of power.”
The program can cost as little as $1,000 down and $160 a month to lease the equipment, although Woody said prices will vary, depending on the size of the business. The original cost was $5,000 down, in addition to monthly lease charges, but Woody said the city worked with Comcast and DTE Energy to allow businesses to make the remaining $4,000 of the down payment in installments, rather than having to pay it all at once.
Detroit business owners are divided about Green Light.
Read the full article at: The Detroit News
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