MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) - Mount Juliet Police announced Wednesdaythe vendor it plans to use for the city’s new license plate readers system.
Rekor Systems will place 37 cameras around the city in an effort to cut down on crime and deter criminals.
"About a year ago we started to notice we were having a lot of issues with stolen vehicles in our community, especially harming our citizens," says Mount Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler.
Chandler said police noticed a pattern of criminals from nearby communities driving into Mount Juliet in stolen vehicles.
"We tested five different vendors and when we tested [Rekor’s] product they performed the best over anyone, and in fact their camera did a hit on a wanted person out of Franklin who was accused of shooting at his estranged wife,” said Chandler. “We took that person into custody based on a test camera."
The test camera was installed at the intersection of Lebanon Road and Greenhill Road. The cameras are pointed at the street to record the back of a vehicle as it drives by. The information collected is managed and stored by Rekor Systems and is kept for a period of 30 days.
The system solely reads a license plate to see if its associated with the "Hot List" from the National Crime Information Center, a national database of license plates associated with crimes. If a plate shows an association, an officer will track down the vehicle, then verify the tag and run it manually to get more information about why the tag is on the Hot List. If needed, the officer will then try to take into custody any suspect in the vehicle.
"Since we've had the test cameras up, we've had 10 different interceptions of suspect, some we've chased back into Nashville and some we've apprehended," says Chandler. “[Officers] can't watch everything at once but these cameras can.”
Chandler said the camera system reads license plates at an accuracy of between 98% and 99%. Officers are notified within five seconds if a vehicle associated with a crime has passed through.
Mount Juliet Police will work with the vendor to finalize where 37 cameras will be located around the city. It will cost $89,000 a year for Rekor to manage the data and systems. The contract must be approved by Mount Juliet’s city commission.
"Our number one goal with this is to prevent the crime before it happens,” said Chandler.