NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A controversial license plate reader bill was given the green light during Tuesday night’s Metro Council Meeting in its final vote.

Metro Nashville Council members debated for over an hour, before passing a bill 2021-961. The passage came in a 22 to 14 vote.

Councilmember Courtney Johnston, the author of the bill, was the first to speak in support of its passage. The new ordinance would allow for a six-month pilot program, in order to determine how beneficial the new technology would be.

“We need some more tools in our toolbox in order to help completely eradicate this dangerous activity,” explained Johnston in an interview with News 2 back in January 2021, when the bill was first introduced. “We’ve had several silver alerts lately, a couple of amber alerts, drive-by shootings.”

Supporters of the LPR Bill, have fought for its passage for the past 15 months. This passage will now allow for Nashville police to capture images of license plates and compare them against stolen vehicles, vehicles flagged for potential connections with a crime.

While the bill was not unanimous, opponents of it showed up to sit, in protest, highlighting contradictions within the ordinance.

“We came out with a bunch of other community members and various groups to oppose license pLate readers,” said Lee Myers, who attended the meeting against the bill. “Increased policing and interaction with civilians. We saw what happened on I-65 a few days ago. I believe if we have LPRs more incidents like that can happen.”

Myers told News 2, his main concern is centered around the technology possibly leading to racial profiling. He is also worried about who will be able to access the information the LPRs would produce and how they could use it, specifically pointing to ICE and the possibility of immigrants being targeted.

Several organizations have publically voiced concerns for the bill and urged council members to vote no ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting. Walk Bike Nashville stated the organization has “deep concerns about how license plate reader program would be implemented based on BL2021-961 and there is no plan within MNPD or NDOT to use this technology to advance traffic safety.”

Councilman Freddie O’Connell spoke ahead of the vote, stating he would not be approving BL2021-961.

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During an interview with News 2 in March 2021, he stated that he is “pretty skeptical, just again, I come to the council as someone who has been a veteran of computer science, software, the IT industry. I have pretty significant concerns about the tracking and storage of that much data and that much reduction of privacy.”