New Houston ordinance requiring surveillance cameras at select businesses begins next week

Soon in the city of Houston, several businesses that cater to the city's nightlife will be required by the city to install surveillance cameras and proper lighting outside their buildings.

Houston leaders say this is an effort to deter and solve a crime.

BACKGROUND: Houston considering surveillance camera ordinance for bars, restaurants to fight crime

It’s a part of the mayor's crime reduction initiative, ‘One Safe Houston’, the ordinance would require these bars to be equipped with tools to keep patrons safe, and help police catch criminals.

Beginning July 19, bars, nightclubs, game rooms, and sexually oriented businesses, will need to have high-definition surveillance cameras and enhanced lighting. This also includes local convenience stores, which have seen an increase in armed or aggravated robberies. Surveillance footage, posted almost daily on HPD’s website, helps police find suspects.

Many bars and establishments in the Third Ward already have proper lighting and cameras.


Branden Harrison, manager at Faces Lounge, thinks it's an idea with the potential to make a difference.

"I think that it could work if everybody is on the same note," says Harrison. "You don't want to disturb anybody's peace. But at the same time, we're not creating anything that's not peaceful."

Houston police says they're working with businesses to make sure owners are aware of the changes.

The new standard will require those businesses to submit any surveillance video that could help police to solve the crime within 72 hours of the request. The ordinance begins July 19.