NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Normal town leaders agreed to implement technology in an effort to make police work more efficient Monday.
Council voted 6 to 1 to install automatic license plate reading (ALPR) cameras throughout the town.
Normal signed a two-year contract with “Flock Safety” for almost $84,000. That will install 27 of the cameras around Normal, just months after Bloomington installed similar technology.
There will also be a recurring cost of $72,000 every year the contract gets renewed.
Normal’s Chief Steve Petrilli said there were other companies considered at first, but the department decided to partner with Flock Safety because surrounding communities including Bloomington, Decatur and Champaign use the technology.
Normal police believe the cameras, will help solve some crimes that are sometimes unsolvable and cut down on the time it takes to solve a crime. This includes anything from armed robberies to abductions.
Councilmember Stan Nord, who voted against the camera said there needs to be outside oversight of how info is used, police should not be policing themselves.
The purpose of the cameras is not for enforcing traffic violations, Info is only to be used for law enforcement purposes only. Petrilli said no one’s info will be used unless connected to a crime.
“To even access the data we need to have a legitimate law enforcement purpose, ie. A criminal investigation that we’re following up on, a hit and run accident or any of the community caretaking functions we discussed,” Petrilli said.
Anytime an officer accesses the data, it’s flagged and vetted before they can view it. Images captured with the ALPR cameras will only get the back of a vehicle, in order to get the license plate information.