Metro Council delays vote on license plate readers

license plate reader
Posted at 9:33 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 23:22:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's been a hot topic for a while now, but the debate over proposed license plate readers in Nashville is on hold.

Metro Council members held off on voting on either of two separate bills that would bring the technology to Nashville. Both bills were up for the second of three votes needed for approval. Now council members will revisit the issue in December.

Metro Council Member Courtney Johnston, who is the sponsor of one of the bills, said the discussion on the issue started over a year ago, and she was frustrated it hasn't been resolved.

"Here we are, over a year later, after six special called committee meetings, after a town hall, a LPR demonstration, and multiple council district meetings for engagement in specific districts," said Johnston. "We have talked about this ad nauseam. There have been no new points that have been brought up in months."

The other bill being considered for discussion by the Metro Council is sponsored by Dave Rosenberg. He said holding off on a vote would give the council more time to work on the legislation and get input from the Community Oversight Board.

The two bills have some differences in how the cameras will be used, where they will be located, and how long data will be stored. The cameras are typically used to capture photos of passing cars.

Nashville residents have voiced strong opinions on the topic. At a town hall meeting last week, people lined up to weigh in on the proposed cameras. Supporters have repeatedly said the cameras are an important tool for law enforcement and will make the city safer. While opponents are concerned the technology will lead to over-policing, racial profiling and an unnecessary invasion of privacy.

Both bills are scheduled to come up for a vote at the Metro Council meeting on Dec. 21.