City council could install license plate camera

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Greenville City Council discussed the idea of installing a license plate recognition camera during the city council meeting Monday night.

Throughout the course of the meeting, Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn introduced the item on last night’s agenda and discussed how the camera would be beneficial in multiple areas of investigative police work.

During the discussion, Chief Lovvorn introduced Jonathan Bozeman, Chief Lovvorn’s’ guest for the meeting, who is a representative of Alabama Power Co.

According to Bozeman, the license plate camera in question would take pictures of the license plate of vehicles as they pass by. “This camera would only take pictures. It is not a video camera,” he said. “The camera is also not a ticketing camera.”

Regarding whom would be responsible for repairs and maintaining the camera, Bozeman explained that responsibility would fall under Alabama power. “The camera would work in the same manner as the streetlight do,” he said. “The city pays a monthly fee for lights. And if anything happens to those lights, it is up to us to replace or repair them. The same concept applies to this camera.”

Bozeman also explained that the camera would be very beneficial for investigative police work. “As a car enters the area where the camera is placed, it takes a picture and uses artificial intelligence to put it into a searchable format,” he said. “So if the chief is looking for a red SUV, instead of looking through days of video, he will be able to put in a title, search red SUV, and the system would show him every red SUV that went by the camera.”

This system can also be beneficial in tracking suspects. “If you know a suspect’s license plate number, you can enter it in the system and the camera will tell you if the car came by,” said Bozeman.

Installing the license plate recognition camera would also give Chief Lovvorn access to over four hundred fifty other cameras across the state, which will help determine if a suspect is in the surrounding area.

In other business the council:

Approved a resolution granting approval for the Greenwood Church of God in Christ to locate a cemetery within city limits

Appointed Judy Gettys to fill Ronnie Graddy’s unexpired term on the planning committee