LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Last march, the Lexington Police Department installed 25 flock safety cameras around the city as part of a yearlong pilot program. The cameras are used to help officers track down stolen vehicles and those involved in other criminal investigations.
In December, the urban county council voted to add an additional 75 cameras to the city’s streets before the year was up. Now questions remain about when they’ll be installed and where.
“LPR license plate readers the ones that we have installed are there set to take six or seven still images of vehicles as they pass on the public right of way,” Sgt. Tyson Carroll.
They may be controversial, but the city of Lexington continues to expand its fleet of flock safety cameras. But the location of those cameras remains a mystery.
“If all hundred locations are going to be released after all 100 are installed, what are we talking about there? Is it a matter of weeks? As a matter of months, as of the end of the year, Vice Mayor Dan Wu asked.
The placement of these license plate readers is key for local leaders like Tanya Fogle. Her main concern is the program’s potential to unfairly target minority communities.
“I have asked you all for specific data. I have not gotten it yet. So how do I trust that you’re going to be transparent with the community that supports you and want to support you? Fogle asked.
Chief Lawrence Weathers said deciphering the data is easier said than done.
“We can give you the data for sectors and you can go through that and pull out the ones related to your district. We can’t necessarily, we don’t have the mechanism to do that,” said Chief Lawrence Weathers said.
While questions remain about placement, we do know the cameras are working.so far they’ve helped to recover 129 stolen vehicles, locate 15 missing people, and cut the length of time for stolen vehicle recovery by half.
“I still feel encouraged and enthused about the results thus far. In my mind, I think that’s the bottom line, especially with the police force that’s down 125. I think we need the resources that are available,” said council member Kathu Plomin.
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LPD said they are confident in the cameras installed so far it has been proactive in solving crimes and the additional will be more useful.