Separate efforts underway to use cameras to help fight crime

One proposal would impact Lexington, the other is statewide

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – There are two separate efforts underway, one in Lexington and one that would be statewide, that would increase the role of cameras to help fight crime.

Lexington Police presented a proposal to the Urban County Council this week that the council is expected to take up at this Thursday’s meeting, that would include Lexington in a nationwide study on the impact of using cameras across the city to track cars suspected of being involved in crimes.  The study leaders, Axon Enterprise and Flock Safety would pay for the equipment.  The data from the study would be shared with the city.

Lexington Police Assistant Chief, Eric Lowe, says having additional cameras could make a difference in solving crime.

“It’s many additional sets of eyes throughout Lexington that are always watching and able to gather information that could be useful to us,” explains Assistant Chief Lowe.

In an unrelated move, a state lawmaker from Lexington wants to change state law to allow the use of stoplight cameras across the state.

“We don’t have the authority to have traffic cameras here in Kentucky that allow police to find people if they run those red lights,” explains Democratic Senator Reggie Thomas, of Lexington. “This is really all about traffic enforcement, but more importantly, saving lives and saving property.”

Other states that use them, like Tennessee, say it has aided them often because they’re programmed to catch anything from car theft to kidnapping.

“One of the biggest thing we’ve seen is an increase in our arrests for people who have stolen motor vehicles and when they happens and it comes through out cameras we know about it,” says Assistant Chief of Police James Jones of the Hendersonville Police Department in Tennessee.

Cameras would be designed to catch the model of the car and the license plate.

Senator Thomas’ bill could be taken up in the upcoming General Assembly session in Frankfort in January.

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