25 license-plate-reading cameras to cover all roads into, out of Fayetteville

10
7107
Website promotion for Flock Group Inc.’s license plate reading camera system.
Website promotion for Flock Group Inc.’s license plate reading camera system.
<b>camera unit of license plate reading system.Photo/FLock Group Inc.</b>
Camera unit of license plate reading system. Photo/Flock Group Inc.

The Fayetteville City Council on June 18 unanimously approved the lease of 25 fixed-position license plate reader cameras to be installed at locations entering and exiting the city. The effort carries a $50,000 price tag, offsetting the more expensive cost of purchasing additional patrol unit cameras and the required data storage space.

Finance Director Mike Bush noted that in the past, the police department has purchased license plate readers to be placed on patrol cars. The major issue with this type of purchase is that the cameras only work when the officer is in his or her car working.

“We recently purchased two speed limit trailers that tell you your speed as you travel by the trailers. These cameras continue to work 24 hours a day when they are in place on the streets of Fayetteville,” Bush said. “The police department would like to enter into an agreement to lease 25 cameras that will be fixed in place and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

The city currently has six patrol cars outfitted with cameras. The car-based cameras, of which the city needs more units, would come with a cost of $9,000 per camera, along with the cost to the city of storing data. The lease of the fixed-position cameras negates the need for additional cameras on patrol units, said City Manager Ray Gibson.

The solar-powered cameras supplied by Flock Group Inc. will be installed at 25 locations entering and leaving the city, and will operate continuously. On its website Flock Group says its cameras capture license plates, not faces.

Data obtained from the cameras can be accessed only by agencies certified by GCIC (Ga. Crime Information Center).

The project is scheduled to start Aug. 1. The police department negotiated a rate of $2,000 per camera and with 25 cameras, Bush said, adding that the $50,000 line item is included in the FY 2021 budget.

The contract is for one-year and will only carry over to the next year with written notice by the police department to the vendor.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Is it even legal to just read license plates non-stop in this manner? I thought probable cause – i.e. speeding, driving erratically, broken taillight, something – was required for law enforcement to run somebody’s plate. How many high-risk encounters will this create over trivial matters, like somebody whose birthday was yesterday but hasn’t made it to the tag office yet? This just sounds like a revenue generator at best or an intimidation opportunity at worst. No like…

    • Hey Vicky(or Karen)-torious. Consider this:

      Yes it is legal for anyone to look at your license plate at anytime because you are outside in public. Tracking you down without probable cause you committed a crime – probably not. So, don’t want your plate run by law enforcement? Don’t do anything wrong. And disable your phone – it has a GPS device inside.

      And if you really think your privacy is so important, don’t post everything you do on Facebook. Good you have a photo dropping your dog off at the kennel, but isn’t that a clue you are off on vacation with someone. Think things thru.

      And being tracked – even if you are not dumb enough to fall into the Facebook trap – MasterCard and Visa will do that for you. When you order something or see something on line that says “Do you want to continue thru Google or Facebook?” Guess what. Wake up folks.

  2. Mixed feelings about this. While I dislike the concept of being ‘Tracked’, it’s somewhat comforting to know that if an old white guy driving a truck like mine robs a liquor store in Riverdale, the License Plate reader in Newnan can prove that it wasn’t me.
    Anyway, soon the COVID-Trackers in our phones will be tracing where ALL of us are 24×7

    • Flagger (or anyone else) – Since it looks like college and professional sports are gearing up, what is your expectation of players’ reactions to the flag and National Anthem?

  3. As a law abiding citizen of Fayetteville with nothing to hide, I say this is wrong! This is part of the reason that people are so fed up with the government and police. So now we are going to be tracked every time we enter or leave Fayetteville? They will say it’s a safety issue. It’s really a bunch of power hungry bullies with new toys.

    Let me guess, you say that the info will only be used in special cases or that the info is private? If true (which I highly doubt), then it is still a bunch of nonsense. We have the right not to be tracked. We already are tracked by our phone, but at least we can turn that off.

    I see it now, you pass by a camera a suspicious number of times or time of day/night and the system flags your info. There is suspicious activity or a crime and you happen to pass by a camera near there and you get flagged or questioned.

    Way to go Fayetteville Police Department. You have just went in the exact opposite direction that you need to in order to improve things! Though I doubt you care what the public thinks as long as you can have more power/control! Police state here we come!

    • NoRights got some rights the way I see it.

      Let’s say your spouse, partner or significant other was accosted/mugged/robbed/assaulted/murdered and a camera was in a place that showed the bad guys coming and going. That leads to their arrest and conviction.

      Camera good or camera bad?