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Spring Hill PD says license plate readers help close cases

license plate reader
Posted at 9:48 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 06:54:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a debate happening in cities across the mid-state, including in Nashville: should police use license plate readers to help do their job?

That debate often pits public safety against privacy concerns.

Spring Hill Police have only had their license plate readers up and running for about two months, including at The Crossings of Spring Hill shopping center, where over the years police noticed a problem developing — shoplifting and credit card fraud rings using local businesses as targets.

"This way we can search for the make or model of a vehicle, it gives us access to data to solve crimes," said Lt. Michael Foster with the Spring Hill Police Department.

Just a few days ago, police arrested an armed robbery suspect when the license plate readers identified the car he used.

There are privacy concerns that have kept some cities, like Nashville, from immediately adopting license plate readers. But Spring Hill Police say the cameras don't capture images of the person driving, just the plate and features of the car.