WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — All of Wilson County will now have eyes in the skies.
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office told News 2 they are one of the first in the state to equip the entire county with license plate readers (LPRs).
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“It’s quite a process, I’ve been working on it for a little more than a year,” said Detective Maj. Robert Stafford with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
To bring the 21-camera system to the county, Stafford said it would be funded through Gov. Bill Lee’s Violent Crime Intervention Fund. “It’s a total of $187,000 that was awarded to Wilson County alone and we are using all of that funding for license plate reader cameras.”
County commissioners gave their approval Monday night. However, Stafford said he also wanted the public to be on board, given the concerns that have been expressed about LPRs in Nashville.
“We understand some of the concerns of the public, we assured the public that this software, this platform is to only be used in criminal investigations,” Stafford said.
Currently, patrol officers run individual license plates to flag down a vehicle involved in a crime. However, now the LPR system is expected to cut down time for officers.
“We can run a 2022 Bronco, blue in color, and it will pull up all of those throughout the system, so it’s a huge tool as far as investigations go…I think it sends a plain message that anyone that comes into Wilson County to commit a criminal act, every department in this county is going to be watching,” Stafford said.
The LPRs will be placed on state routes and county roads. Stafford said they’re hoping to install the cameras within the next 60 to 90 days.