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County Council delays vote on mall security cameras

The Anne Arundel County Council has delayed a vote on whether to require malls to install outdoor security cameras, and the bill's sponsor said yesterday that the proposal may be pulled to address business and privacy concerns.

Council member C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican, has proposed requiring shopping centers with 15 or more stores to put up surveillance cameras in parking areas.

On Monday night, council members postponed a vote on the bill until at least June 20.

Several council members said they generally back the concept of requiring some shopping centers to use outdoor security cameras but said they wanted to avoid placing an undue financial burden on smaller retailers.

Some council members have recommended that determining factors in requiring cameras should be the size of, or number of parking spaces in, mall parking lots.

Council members also inquired about the quality of the surveillance equipment, and whether it could be easily accessed by police.

Middlebrooks said that a new or amended bill could also require retailers to put up signs to advise patrons that they are being monitored.

Middlebrooks said he was motivated to introduce the bill after Baltimore County passed a similar measure in March, after the fatal shooting of St. Paul's School educator William A. Bassett inside a parking garage at Towson Town Center.

Arundel man sentenced for cruelty to pit bull

A Glen Burnie man was sentenced last month to three years in prison, with all but 60 days suspended, after he was convicted of causing severe internal injuries to a pit bull terrier by shoving a curtain rod into its throat, county police said yesterday.

Alvin Burris was charged with animal mutilation, a felony, and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, after his girlfriend took her dog for emergency treatment in March, Anne Arundel County police said.

Burris, who was 28 at the time of the incident, was found guilty on both counts on May 23. In addition to the prison term, Burris was also given 18 months of supervised probation, fined and ordered to have no contact with the dog, named Kane.

Police said that Kane had surgery to his throat and is fully recovered.

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