Once approved at a second reading, the ordinance will require pawnshop operators to file their daily pawn reports electronically.
Under state law, pawnshops are already required to get a lot of identifying information from anyone wishing to pawn an item, including a fingerprint and photos of the person wishing to pawn an item and the item being pawned.
The Spalding County Board of Commissioners approved a first reading of the proposed ordinance at its meeting Monday evening.
Under the proposed ordinance, pawnshops will have to keep the information for three years and make it available to law enforcement personnel upon request.
Anyone who fails to obtain and maintain the information and provide the reports is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 and up to six months in prison.
The major change, said County Manager William Wilson Jr., is that anyone who purchases a pawned item will not be required to be photographed.
The request for the proposed ordinance came from the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and implementation may help solve some burglary and theft cases, said Capt. Tony Ranieri, of the Criminal Investigations Division. It also will save money on gas and overtime for the Sheriff’s Office, since personnel will no longer have to pick up the reports from each of the shops and manually enter them into the system.
The information can simply be downloaded into the state database, the Georgia Crime Information Center. The ordinance will also allow the Sheriff’s Office to issue tickets instead of having to arrest pawnshop employees and owners.
The Griffin Board of Commissioners recently passed a similar requirement for both pawnshops and scrap metal dealers to help track down stolen items. The Spalding County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to have a second and final reading of the ordinance at its Aug. 15 meeting.
In other business, the county approved the second and final readings of two amendments which will expand the no-parking zone on O’Dell Industrial Way and remove the no-through truck designation on Wilson Road between Arthur K. Bolton Parkway and Hudson Road.
The commissioners also voted to cancel the next two first meetings of the month due to the Labor Day holiday in September and an Association County Commissioners Georgia conference in October.