Council to hear Lexington Police request to purchase and install thermal imaging cameras

Lexington, Ky.–The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council will hear a request from the Lexington Police Department to accept federal funding to purchase and install a thermal imaging camera system for their air support unit at Tuesday’s Council Work Session.

The $447,898 in funding for the camera system will come from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security under the FY2022 State Homeland Security Grant Program. No matching funds are required from LFUCG. According to a memo submitted to Council, the equipment “will address the technology gap to respond to search/rescue, active shooters, domestic terrorism and protection of large crowds.” The specific camera requested is the Wescam MX-10.

Lexington’s jail, the Fayette County Detention Center, currently works with another US Department of Homeland Security program: the Criminal Alien Program (CAP). The program is designed to report allegedly removable non-citizens detained in American jails to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and initiate removal proceedings against them. Federal grants such as the State Homeland Security Grant Program generally have requirements that localities must meet to receive federal funds, but it was not immediately clear if Lexington’s funding is contingent upon participation in CAP.

Vice Mayor Dan Wu told the Lexington Times in a direct message that he planned to ask for more details on the cameras at Tuesday’s work session.

Story updated 1/31 at 12:22 p.m. to add comment from Vice Mayor Dan Wu.

Top photo: Stock photo of security cameras. (Adobe Stock)