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New ordinance requires clear windows at Midwest City convenience stores

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. --  In the coming weeks, residents in Midwest City will notice a change to their convenience stores.

The City of Midwest City will now require convenience stores to have clear windows as part of a city ordinance that was unanimously approved by the city council this week.

Police say criminals are more likely to target cash registers hidden from street view.

Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes started looking into this policy change a few months ago after 33-year-old Salman Tahir was shot and killed in an armed robbery at the convenience store where he worked.

The owner of that store will comply with the new ordinance and remove the decals on the front door.

"You don't know what you're walking into when you can't see inside," said Mayor Dukes.

"It protects not only the customers, but also the clerks and our police officers when they respond," said Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes.

For some stores, it will be an expensive change.

"The key question is, is money more important than human lives? And our position is no," Clabes said.

Oanh Quach, the owner at Tuti's Food Mart on South Post, is ahead of the game.

Tuti's was robbed last year.

Quach spent $16,000 on new cameras, new bullet proof glass, new lighting, new locks and she stripped the windows as soon as she heard about the new ordinance.

She made the changes to protect her employees.

"We have to take care of them," Quach said. "They are my family. Something happen to them, I not feel happy."

Some store owners feel like they are being discriminated against.

They recognize the safety benefits, but wish the same regulation applied to other businesses in Midwest City, like bars, pawn shops or even banks.

Currently, convenience stores are the only businesses affected by the ordinance.

Midwest City police officers will be visiting convenience stores in the coming weeks, to spread awareness about the new ordinance which will take effect in mid-February.

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