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June 08, 2015

Surveillance camera bill to be considered in wake of student's disappearance

Crime Cameras
030915_Security_Carroll_02.jpg Thom Carroll/

A security camera outside Northern Liberties Beer on Girard Avenue.

Philadelphia City Council will meet Monday afternoon to discuss a bill inspired by the disappearance of local college student Shane Montgomery.

Council, which will meet at 1 p.m., will consider legislation that would require places like bars and nightclubs to place surveillance cameras outside their exits.

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. proposed the ordinance requiring every business that serves alcohol to install at least one exterior camera in the wake of the death of Montgomery, 21, who went missing on Thanksgiving Eve after a night out at a bar in Manayunk. Montgomery's body was found 36 days later in the Schuylkill River.

“Particularly, I have an interest in those establishments that sell alcohol," Jones told Fox29. "And whether it's a fine restaurant for fine dining or whether it's a stop-and-go in a neighborhood, there is a correlation between the consumption of alcohol and other narcotics and the commission of crimes."

Jones’ proposal came at the request of Shane’s mother, Karen Montgomery, who told that the search for her son's body may have ended sooner if Kildare's Irish Pub, where he had last been, had functioning exterior cameras.

In 2011, the Philadelphia Police Department launched SafeCam, an online initiative through that allows residents and businesses to register their own security cameras with the police department.

Under the current program, the city’s Department of Commerce will reimburse business owners who register their exterior cameras with SafeCam 50 percent of the installation cost, up to a maximum of $3,000.