Police in Hillsboro Beach and Lighthouse Point have added stationary license plate scanners to record tags within or entering the city. They say the cameras will help them locate stolen cars, fugitives, or people under restraining orders, not to catch drivers who speed or run red lights. Police add that it’s unrealistic to position an officer on every street corner and cameras give officers another way to monitor activity without having a physical presence.
But some local residents and members of the American Civil Liberties Union say the strategy could backfire if it redirects crime to other areas or violates the privacy of law-abiding citizens in that area. Police counter that there is no expectation of privacy in a public place.
Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach are the only agencies in Broward County that have opted for stationary cameras. Police in Coconut Creek, Plantation, Coral Springs, and Sunrise use portable scanners to record individual plates at the discretion of the officer. Several other agencies are testing systems of their own.
Source: Lighthouse Point, Hillsboro Beach add cameras to scan license plates entering their cities, Palm Beach Post, January 4, 2010
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