Lexington may be part of study using cameras for crime fighting

Study paid for by outside group

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington may be part of a study using cameras across the city to try to help solve crimes.

The Urban County Council heard a proposal Tuesday at its work session and is scheduled to consider it at Thursday’s council meeting.

But the city is under some time constraints to agree to the study or miss the opportunity.

The program is a nationwide study by the Nationwide Police Foundation, and could start as early as January.

It would not violate the state’s ban on using cameras for traffic enforcement. As part of the study of the impact of license plate readers on crime enforcement, 25 cameras would be spread across the city.  Investigators could track cars suspected of being involved in crimes.

“We will be looking at where crime is happening in Lexington with the understanding that these cameras will be placed throughout Fayette County and not concentrated in one particular area,” Assistant Police Chief Eric Lowe told the Urban County Council during Tuesday’s work session.

The study leaders — Axon Enterprise and Flock Safety — would pay the costs of the equipment. The data from the study would be shared with the city.

Police officials have met with the NAACP, ACLU and Lexington’s Human Rights Commission to discuss concerns and policies as part of the planning and preparation and received feedback from the groups,  Lowe said.

Meanwhile, Democatic State Senator Reggie Thomas, of Lexington, has filed legislation to remove the state’s ban on using stoplight cameras for traffic enforcement and ticketing.

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