City council could install license plate camera

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Greenville City Council discussed a resolution regarding installing a license plate recognition camera during Monday night’s meeting.

Greenville Police Chief Justin Lovvorn introduced the resolution to the council and discussed the potential benefits.

Chief Lovvorn introduced Jonathan Bozeman with Alabama Power Company to explain the camera’s functions during the discussion.

“This camera would only take pictures. It’s not a video camera or a ticketing camera,” Bozeman said.

Bozeman then reassured the council that they were not responsible for repairs or maintenance.

“The camera would work in the same manner as the streetlight does,” Bozeman 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 says 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.”

This system can also be beneficial in tracking suspects. For example, “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.”