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Stores ask for hoodie removal

By Monique Roth
L’Observateur

LAPLACE — Many of the classic “no shoes, no shirt, no service” signs plastered on service stations across the country, including some in the River Region, are getting an update asking patrons to remove their hoodies and sunglasses before entering.

With places of business often protecting their merchandise and employees with the use of video surveillance cameras, some of the store’s employees are telling inquisitive customers the reason behind the sign’s request is out of safety concerns and making sure video footage is as clear as possible if ever needed.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre, who has supervised the installation of an extensive parish surveillance camera network under his administration, said the signs are in no way connected to his office. He said business owners can choose to employ any restriction they see fit, and as always, his officers would respond to any calls of uncooperative patrons.

The use of video surveillance cameras, both commercially and residentially, has gained popularity as systems have become more affordable, Tregre said.

Developers of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office’s website, stjohnsheriff.org, even added a high-tech addition to the site last year in which residents who own home video surveillance cameras can register them with the department.

“Registering your camera with the St. John Parish Camera Registry helps us all work together,” the website reads. “Simply register your home or business camera…and should there be a crime in your area, we may contact you to review footage that could help solve a serious crime.”