NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — License plate readers are coming up for a vote in Nashville.
Metro police want to roll out a pilot program, but there are some limits.
It’s a technology used every day by police in neighboring cities.
A crime out of Nashville ended up on Mt. Juliet’s doorstep after one of Mt. Juliet’s own officers fell victim to a smash-and-grab burglary. Thanks to an LPR reader, that suspect is now behind bars.
Earlier this week, three people were arrested after they were caught driving a stolen SUV.
LPRs are a tool that Courtney Johnston believes will help fight crime in music city.
“Police have identified that LPR is one of the most effective tools to help them enforce the law and find stolen vehicles but also locate missing persons,” Johnston said.
While cameras will be limited in what they capture, Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell says it’s still a very difficult balance to strike between privacy and public safety.
“You don’t want it to be revealed something sensitive about your life whether it’s a health-related concern or a family-related concern. You don’t want those things to become public knowledge as a result of, ‘hey Metro years ago entered a data sharing agreement to cut costs with some vendor,'” O’Connell said.
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The question now is — could LPRs cause more harm than good?
“We’ve looked at city after city and what we see is its hard-to-find conclusive evidence that they dramatically impact crime rates,” O’Connell said.
“It’s just an unbelievably effective tool for public safety,” Johnston said.
If the council approves the readers, the pilot will last six months.
Metro Council would have to approve it again to make it permanent.
Councilmember Sean Parker tweeted earlier this week that the cameras won’t be used for traffic violations like speeding.