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Longview police respond to privacy concerns regarding new tech

Longview police respond to privacy concerns regarding new tech
Longview News-Journal
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POSTED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 11:14am

The Longview Police Department is developing a policy for the use of equipment recently installed in two police cars that automatically captures and stores license plate numbers — a technology that has come under fire by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a report released this past week, the ACLU raised concerns that the automatic license plate readers could be operated by law enforcement in a manner that violates civil liberties.

A spokesman for Longview police — the only Gregg County law enforcement agency using the technology — said this week the department is weighing the advantages of the equipment against the potential for its overreach.

“I think they (the ACLU) have some valid points in their report,” said Longview Police Lt. Ben Kemper, who has been collecting data on how other departments are using the technology to determine how Longview will implement its program.

The license plate readers’ nearly $32,000 price tag was covered by a grant issued through the governor’s office.

One of the readers, ordered in April, was installed in a municipal court warrant vehicle. The other was installed in a patrol car.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.
 

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