Springfield City Council passes pawn shop ordinance - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Springfield City Council passes pawn shop ordinance


An ongoing ordinance dealing with pawn shops in Springfield has been a hot topic among the City Council for several months.

It deals with extending holding periods for items turned into the shops.

Monday night, the issue was once again brought up at the City Council meeting.

As it stands right now, pawn shops can hold items for 10 days before reselling or melting for profit.

With request per the police department, the council is trying to extend those days to 30.

"We approached Councilor Ashe and the Public Safety Committee and asked them to consider changes in the ordinance," said Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet.

"Anytime the police department and particularly the police commissioner comes to the City Council with a request, certainly they're going to get my attention," said City Councilor Thomas Ashe.

The ordinance, spearheaded by Ashe, would also request shop owners to take pictures of items and those who turn them in to be placed in an online police data base.

It's something pawn shop owners said is an invasion of privacy.

But Ashe said there is limited access to that information.

"Not every member of the department has access. In addition to that, they have to be approved by NESPN, so it's very restricted. Another thing, security cameras are rolling in these shops so they're pictures are being taken one way or another so they invasion of privacy argument really doesn't carry any water," said Ashe.

Fitchet said the extended 30 days and digital aspect of the ordinance will allow police to track down and regain stolen property.

"My detectives don't have to go all over the city. They can call up goods on a monitor. We can have victims of crime look at it for items that might have been stolen from them," explained Fitchet.  

At Monday's meeting, the council voted to approve the proposal.

The City Council needs to vote on and approve the ordinance two more times before Mayor Domenic Sarno can sign it into law.

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