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Wyoming installing 12 license plate recognition cameras to address uptick in crime

Wyoming Police 01212023
Posted at 9:07 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 22:04:56-05

WYOMING, Mich. — To try and curb an uptick in violent crime, the city of Wyoming is now installing a dozen cameras across the city.

Last week, Wyoming City Council approved using $30,000 of funding from the American Rescue Plan to purchase 12 movable, license plate recognition cameras to be set up at six locations around the city.

The cameras will automatically capture photos of passing cars to record make, model and license plate information. They can also alert officers when a car matching the description of one in a stored database passes through.

Wyoming Public Safety Chief Kimberly Koster says they hope to use the information to catch criminals, and potentially prevent future crimes.

“Right now, when we've experienced an increase in shots being fired and some of the other crime that has occurred, I am concerned about the safety of our residents, and it's my job and our agency's job to address that. I think technology is a way that we can do that even better,” Koster told FOX 17 Monday.

With the new technology comes some security concerns. Will these cameras take more than just pics of your car? No, says Koster.

“It isn't for traffic enforcement, it doesn't take any pictures inside the vehicle. It's not facial recognition. The data is there for 30 days,” explained Koster who says officers will only look at the data when they are investigating a crime and looking for a lead.

“At any one time, we have six or seven police officers on the street. So utilizing technology like this allows us to just have another tool really to combat the violent crime, and also to reduce it, if we solve crime, we'll be able to reduce crime,” Koster said.

“I see the overall impact on our community being a very positive one,” she added.

The city hopes to have all 12 cameras installed and operational within 30 days.