Lexington police say flock cameras proving their worth as council votes to add more
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After weeks of heated debate, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted Tuesday night to expand its License Plate Reader program.
The Lexington Police Department will add 75 flock cameras around the city, increasing the total to 100. Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says that number is still relatively small given the size of Lexington, but he says the cameras have already proven their worth.
Chief Weathers says that the Flock Cameras have served as another tool for officers to track down stolen vehicles and vehicles involved in other criminal investigations.
According to the police department’s license plate reader transparency page, police used the camera to recover 104 stolen vehicles, make 170 people arrests and find 13 missing people.
Chief Weathers says that those outcomes are worth the investment.
“What I can measure is, over time, how quickly we’re recovering maybe stolen vehicles, over time, how many cases is this helping us in,” Chief Weathers said. “I don’t want to be the one to sit there and tell a victim, ‘you know what, I know this only helped in one case, but the other cases aren’t important and not have this as a tool.’”
Council Member David Kloiber was one of four council members who voted no to more cameras during Tuesday night’s meeting.
He told us he was looking for more information from the Pilot Program and, by cutting the program short, he and other critics are not getting the information to see just how worth it these cameras are.
“There has been study after study that shows surveillance is not a deterrent. You do not prevent crime through surveillance,” Kloiber said. “If we want to measure the impact on our residences and our citizens, then let’s not only look at a subset of how the victims feel, let’s try to prevent more people from becoming victims.”
Chief Weathers says that the department does plan to put out the locations of those cameras once all 100 are installed across the city.
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