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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Macon-Bibb County cracks down on security for alcohol vendors

<p>Photo by Rosie Maino.</p>

Photo by Rosie Maino.

Macon-Bibb County is now requiring all nightclubs, bars and “PTG License Holders” to upgrade security, including state-certified armed security and installing hi-def cameras.

The Macon-Bibb County Board of Commissioners met Aug. 10 to inform the public about the new laws that came into effect July 1.

“We want them to know what the ordinance says, what the law says so if they have any question about anything, if there is any inconsistency or comment they don’t understand, they can ask those questions,” Mayor Lester Miller said in a comment to 13WMAZ after the meeting.

The required high-definition quality is 1080p, but specifics change between business types. Package and To-Go (PTG) stores need to capture the face and clothing of anyone entering through the public entrance with their camera placement. Nightclubs and bars have even more extensive requirements for their cameras and footage.

“What we have run into in previous instances in convenience stores and other places is you have not very good images,” Miller said. “We want to make sure we have the best technology available.”

Nightclubs and bars need to capture the face and clothing of everyone entering the business but also must capture anyone purchasing from a fixed point of sale. Other requirements include capturing anyone within 50 feet of the entrance standing outside and any dance floor or similar area.

Nightclub and bar cameras need to record at a frame rate of 15 frames per second, have clear pictures of the faces of patrons and be kept clean so they function as intended.

As far as armed security goes, only nightclubs are required to have it. However, any armed security at any business — if not an off-duty peace officer — must now certify with the state and receive certification as Private Security, known commonly as a “Blue Card.”

The business must also be licensed as a “private security business” by the Georgia Board of Private Detectives and Security Agencies.

Miller said Macon-Bibb County intends on enforcing the new ordinances swiftly and strictly.

“We send them copies of the ordinances, we passed this, we published it on our website, they’re going to be put on notice,” Miller said. “Whether you close your eyes or pretend like it doesn’t exist, when we come in that door, you better be ready, and you better be following the law, because we are going to enforce it.”

That means that local Macon businesses like The Crazy Bull and Blue Moon now have increased security and video recordings of all visitors. The Bibb County Sheriff’s department will be making inspections to ensure all security is up to code.

“We’re not going to discriminate on any location,” Miller said. “Any business throughout Macon-Bibb county, we’re going to treat them all the same.”


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