Section 110-619; Defeated B351-09; Amending Chapter 24 of the City Code by adding a new Article VIII pertaining to downtown safety cameras


Ordinance No. Defeated                        Council Bill No. B 351-09

     AN ORDINANCE

amending Chapter 24 of the City Code by adding a new Article VIII pertaining to downtown safety cameras; and fixing the time when this ordinance shall become effective.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1.    Chapter 24 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, Missouri, is hereby amended by adding the following sections, to read as follows:

ARTICLE VIII.  DOWNTOWN SAFETY CAMERAS

Sec. 24-130.  Definitions.

     “Downtown safety cameras” means any digital recording surveillance system installed in an open and obvious manner by the city of Columbia to film public streets, sidewalks or alleys within the boundaries of the central business district.  It does not include surveillance cameras installed in municipal parking garages and it does not include surveillance cameras installed at street intersections for the purpose of monitoring vehicular traffic and it does not include surveillance cameras designed to record any regular operations of city departments.

     “Exigent circumstances” means unanticipated situations that threaten the immediate safety of individuals or property within the central business district.

     “Public notice” shall at a minimum include posting notice on a bulletin board or other prominent place which is easily accessible to the public at the office building housing the city council chambers, together with notice published on the internet website for the city of Columbia.

Sec. 24-131.  Authorization to deploy cameras.

    (a)    The chief of police for the city of Columbia is authorized to deploy or move downtown safety cameras for the purpose of enhancing public security.

    (b)    Before deploying or moving an existing downtown safety camera, the chief of police shall provide public notice of such deployment or proposed movement.  The notice shall identify the public security concerns that have been considered in the decision to deploy or move the downtown safety camera as well as the general capabilities and viewing area of the downtown safety camera.  The public shall have thirty (30) days to submit comments to the chief of police regarding a proposed deployment or movement, and the chief of police shall provide public notice of the chief’ s decision regarding deployment or movement in light of public comment.

    (c)    In exigent circumstances, the chief of police is authorized to deploy or move downtown safety cameras without the public notice or comment periods referred to in subsection (b), but only for so long as such exigent circumstances justify deployment or movement.

    (d)    Video recordings shall be indexed, stored and maintained for sixty (60) calendar days after which time they will be recorded over or destroyed.  Recordings may be retained beyond sixty (60) calendar days upon written order from the chief of police and only because the recordings contain evidence of criminal activity, because the recordings capture an occurrence that may subject the Columbia police department to civil liability, or because the recordings will be used for training purposes.  Recordings that contain evidence of criminal activity or recordings that capture an occurrence that may subject the Columbia police department to civil liability shall be maintained only for so long as the recordings have evidentiary value.  Recordings that will be used for training purposes may be maintained only for so long as they are actively used for training purposes.

    (e)    The city manager is authorized to enter into agreements with private contractors who supply and operate and maintain downtown safety cameras and related tapes and equipment and who agree to operate the downtown safety cameras pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 24-132.  Limitations on deployment and use of downtown safety cameras.

    (a)    Downtown safety cameras may only be deployed so as to be conspicuous and only within the boundaries of the central business district, and may be in fixed or mobile locations.

    (b)    Downtown safety cameras shall only record areas perceptible to the human eye from public streets and sidewalks and alleys within the central business district where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

    (c)    Downtown safety cameras shall only capture video images and shall not capture audio recordings of any type without court authorization.

    (d)    Downtown safety cameras shall not target/observe individuals solely because of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or other classifications protected by law.

    (e)    Downtown safety cameras shall not be used to infringe upon First Amendment rights.

    (f)    Access to the recording equipment for downtown safety cameras or the images captured by downtown safety cameras shall be limited to any private contractor under agreement with the city of Columbia to operate or maintain downtown safety cameras, or to criminal justice agencies and their personnel, but only for official purposes.  Other access shall be limited to individuals or agencies given a court order granting access.

Sec. 24-133.  Savings clause.

    If any section, clause, sentence or part of this article be declared unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall affect only such section, clause, sentence or part of this article and shall not affect or impair any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences or parts of this article.

    SECTION 2.    This ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage.

    DEFEATED this 7th day of December, 2009.