MT. JULIET, TN (WSMV) -- After testing a number of license plate readers for months, Mount Juliet has decided on a vendor. Monday night Mount Juliet Commissioners gave the OK to sign a contract and install a total of 37 license plate reader cameras throughout the fast growing city.

According to police chief James Hambrick, the readers will go up at every entrance point to Mount Juliet, and along the major streets, including Mount Juliet, Division, and Lebanon Roads.

The cameras are hooked up to a hot list from the crime information center. If a vehicle passes one of the cameras, and the license plate is on the hot list, Chief Hambrick says, an alert goes out to patrolling officers. The bad guys are being followed from camera to camera.

"We can follow the direction and be able to intercept that suspect," said Hambrick.

Mount Juliet has been plagued with a rash of car break-ins, mostly criminals from out of the area using stolen cars to commit the crimes. These cameras create a whole new playing field for police.

"It's a serious problem, vehicles being broken into. This is just one tool that we have, that was badly needed to combat the problem," said Hambrick.

Mount Juliet Commissioner James Maness initially had concerns about privacy, so he added an ordinance.

"That the city of Mount Juliet only share with law enforcement inside the state. Data couldn't be sold to marketers, it couldn't be used for anything other than law enforcement," said Maness.

There will be thirty-seven cameras throughout Mount Juliet, Hambrick says. Twenty of them should be up and running within 30 to 45 days.    

 

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