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    Dallas Passes New Security Ordinance for C-Stores

    Measure gives police broader powers to arrest loiterers, but also requires stores to install anti-robbery technology.

    DALLAS -- In a concerted effort to provide additional security and safety measures for convenience store operators, the Dallas City Council passed a series of regulations that provides police officers with the power to arrest trespassers and loiterers.

    The ordinance also requires that the 950 convenience stores in Dallas install high resolution cameras, silent alarms and drop-down safes, reported Security Director News.

    According to the Dallas Morning News, Dallas police responded to 6,300 calls at c-stores between 2004 and 2007—950 of those were classified as violent crimes.

    "Everyone has a horror story about someone approaching them and asking for money or something," Dallas Police Office Keith Allen told the newspaper. "They harass customers and put employees in a bad spot. But when we assembled our work group and our committee, convenience stores said mandating having more employees on hand wasn’t something a small business could afford."

    Joe Williams, vice president regulatory and member services for the Texas Retailers Association, told the paper that the new regulations are based on an ordinance Houston developed in 2007 that established minimum standards for the number of video surveillance cameras and the type of lighting to be used in c-stores. In addition, it requires c-stores to increase window visibility and minimize cash in the register.

    "I know this is going to take some work and it is going to be expensive," Williams said. "And so from a c-store standpoint, it is positive they have both independent and multi-store operators as part of their task force and everyone sat at the table as these rules were being discussed. The capital investment is worth it to protect the employees and the customers."

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