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Installation of police cameras in Lexington scheduled for next month

Lexington Assistant Police Chief Eric Lowe Before the Lexington City Council 03-15-22
Stu johnson
Lexington Assistant Police Chief Eric Lowe Before the Lexington City Council 03-15-22

25 vehicle license plate reading cameras are expected to be installed around Lexington sometime next month. The solar-powered cameras are part of a one-year pilot project funded by the company that makes the picture-taking equipment. Lexington City Council members were updated on the plan Tuesday. Assistant Police Chief Eric Lowe said witness information is often somewhat general in nature.

“It may be a red passenger car. It may be a red Ford, something like that. That is good information for us to know, but it isn’t very actionable. What this would allow us to do is we could actually go and search for LPRs in the area where we know that vehicle fled, for the red Ford that would match that description and give us a good lead to start our investigation,” said Lowe.

Lowe said the cameras would not be used for speeding or red-light running enforcement. The assistant chief noted pictures would be stored for only 30 days, except those captured as part of an investigation.

Lowe said no major increase in staffing is expected during this pilot. But, Lowe added, long-term, additional technology could require more people.

“One of the models that we see other cities going to are real-time crime centers which are similar to a dispatch center, but it is people not focused on just getting information and dispatching police to calls, it’s real-time looking at what’s happening in the city with technology and cameras and being able to direct officers to the right area to be able to solve crimes,” said Lowe.

If the city decides to extend the program beyond one year, cameras could be added or moved to new locations.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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