New video surveillance cameras set up throughout Belle Meade are designed to help police capture cars connected to serious crimes.
The cameras are located at 20 sites throughout the city. Each camera records the vehicles that pass through that intersection.
However, the cameras are not designed to crack down on speeders or drivers who run red lights. Police said the cameras can track specific license plates that may be connected to crimes.
If police learn of a license plate connected to an Amber Alert, missing person case, or other crime, they can ask the camera to search for that plate. If it is located, police are notified.
Belle Meade Police Chief Tim Eads said he believed the cameras could help deter crime and make the city safer.
“We’re hoping it will enhance our ability, if a crime occurs, to get that investigated and the people in custody,” said Chief Eads. “We believe it will impact not just the safety of Belle Meade, but the surrounding area.
Chief Eads said if an accident occurred at one of the intersections, the cameras could also be used to review the incident to determine who was at fault.
The cameras have been up and running for about a week, and Chief Eads said it is too soon to know if it is working.
The city of Belle Meade spent $500,000 on the cameras. Similar technology has been used in other cities.
Several public meetings were held about the cameras before they were installed. Chief Eads said most residents supported the cameras, however, he understands some may have concerns about privacy.
He said the cameras are designed to track specific license plates, and will not record anyone’s private property.
The police department is still monitoring the cameras to ensure all are working properly. Chief Eads said more cameras could be added in the future.