A Philadelphia City Councilman has taken matters into his own hands after receiving a phone call from a mother desperate for change.
The mother was Karen Montgomery; her son Shane Montgomery was a 21-year-old West Chester student who went missing after leaving Kildare’s Irish Pub in Manayunk early Thanksgiving morning.
There were no cameras outside of Kildare’s, which in turn led to a 5-week search for the missing Manayunk native. Eventually the authorities were able to find footage from a camera outside of a nail salon on the same block.
This helped the authorities and volunteers get a lead on where Shane could potentially be, to eventually find that he had drowned in the Schuylkill River.
In response to Shane’s death, his mother is working alongside Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. to create a new legislation for the City of Philadelphia that requires all liquor licensed establishments to have working exterior cameras.
In an interview with Temple Update Monday morning Councilman Jones said, “We plan to introduce a bill that requires establishments that serve alcohol to have external cameras. For their safety and the safety of their customers.”
Many bars and restaurants around the city are already asking questions and raising concerns, the number one being cost.
“I don’t think cost is an issue,” Jones said, “But even if it is we might be able to provide. Currently, 50% of the installation costs will come from SafeCam.” SafeCam is the Philadelphia Police Department newest crime prevention and investigation tool.
The cost issue can be found more in depth at https://www.phila.gov/citybudget/Pages/default.aspx.
If the legislation is passed, all Philadelphia bars, including those around Temple University’s campus will be directly effected.
Waylon Nelson, owner of Master’s Bar located on Carlisle and 15th Street, already has cameras outside of his establishment. Nelson realizes that being just blocks off away from a college campus safety is always an issue.
“I don’t see any kind of concern or problems with having cameras outside,” Nelson continues on saying, “but if I didn’t have cameras and had to put cameras in this place, it would be an exorbanent expense.”
Although this bill has just been introduced, it has quickly gained a lot of attention, including Temple students who had mixed feelings on the subject.
Senior Economics major, Jessen Smith said, “I think it’s unfortunate what happened to Shane Montgomery. But I think it’s a little unnecessary for every business to have to accrue the cost because of one unfortunate event.”
Courtney Logan, another Temple Student had a different view on the matter. “I think it’s a good idea, just because if anything ever happens to someone at a business they can at least track where they’ve been. Have a little idea of what happened.”
Councilman Jones is scheduled to propose this bill to City Council Thursday, February 12.