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Detroit may force businesses to share surveillance

Published: June 5, 2017
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Source: Detroit News

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.

Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey, who is spearheading the proposal, said he hopes to have the ordinance ready for a council vote within three months.

“We’ve been meeting with DPD about the draft ordinance,” Spivey said. “We’re still tweaking it. We’ll hopefully put it to a vote in September, and then phase it in by ZIP code or council district, rather than making it citywide all at once.”

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.

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