Warner Robins Police request change to current law regarding security camera footage

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WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Warner Robins Police Department requested a change to the law regarding security camera footage for businesses.

Brett Evans, Chief of the Warner Robins Police Department, said it takes convenience stores a long time to turn in footage after a crime happens. He said if businesses turn in footage within an hour, it will help police.

“The recordings are taking, you know, a full day or longer, to get in some cases, so if we have a robbery case, they have a clerk that has been shot, then we don’t have anything to go on for quite a period of time,” Evans said.

Parker Wilson’s parents own Robins Bed and Mattress in Warner Robins. He may not be directly affected by this law, but, as a store manager he has concerns.

Wilson understands how long it can take to get footage because he’s had to pull footage from his own store cameras, and an hour wouldn’t be enough time because his parents have two locations.

“We’d have to pull somebody from the other location, drive down here and do it, which would take about 30 minutes for them to get here,” he said.

Meaning that employee would only have 30 minutes to get the footage to police.

Wilson said most businesses only give a few people access to grabbing security footage, so it’s too risky if every employee can grab footage.

“Most employees have key and they can just you know dismantle the alarm and do something and be able to erase it or dispose of it,” he said.

Wilson thinks the police should rethink the amount of time.

“I do agree with, you know, giving them the footage, but one hour’s probably not good enough to do it correctly.”

But, Evans said the time when police recieve footage is important.

“Clerks can be traumatized, there’s a lot going on. The general description they may provide may not be close enough to the actually suspect information, so we’re hoping that being able to provide the video will give us information in a more timely fashion,” he said.

Evans plans on holding a meeting soon with business owners, so they can get a better understanding of this change and also so the police can address any concerns.

The change was on the City Council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, but was taken off.

Police want to talk with businesses owners first.