Metro Council considering two license plate reader bills

Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 20, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Council will be discussing two bills that would allow license plate readers during its meeting on Tuesday night.

While these readers could become a reality, this won't allow them to just pop up all over town. The bills both only deal with having the readers in police cars, but with these two bills council could decide which is best or just push the decision to another time.

The first bill is fairly simple - it really just changes Metro code that will allow the police to have the readers. The second bill is a bit more in-depth and adds stipulations for the department, like only using it for investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses, using it in some ways for civil traffic and parking offenses and helping in missing persons cases plus Amber and Silver Alerts to name a few.

Another thing to highlight: in this second bill when officers get an alert on a plate, before doing anything they need to confirm both the plate number and whether the alert is still active. Then find out if the alert is for the person who registered the car or for the car itself.

Councilman Sean Parker of District 5 posted a statement on social media from some local immigrant organizations which urged the council to vote no on the second bill saying, "our city works best when everyone can feel safe and participate, but massive data gathering and surveillance only serve to erode trust and disproportionately target Black and brown communities."

The council meeting gets underway Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.