Five Year Lease Extension for Flock Cameras Up for Vote

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In Tuesday’s Council Work Session, Council will take the first vote to extend the City’s lease for the Flock License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras for another five years. The first year of this lease will cost the City $352,404.11, with each subsequent year’s cost being $317,500 — bringing the five-year total cost to $1,622,404.11.

The Lexington Police Department has 100 Flock LPR cameras throughout Lexington. Flock LPR cameras take photos of car license plates as they drive by, and cross-reference license plate numbers with plate numbers associated with recent crimes.

The Police Department was given 25 Flock cameras, free of charge, in March 2022 as part of a year-long pilot program meant to last through March 2023. But in December 2022, at the request of the Mayor’s Administration and the Police Department, Council voted to move ahead with the permanent acquisition of 75 additional cameras, three months before the completion of the year-long pilot.

Flock Cameras have been controversial since their arrival, with many residents voicing concerns about privacy and their potential over-use in communities of color.

As of March 25th, 2024, the Police Department claims that Flock cameras have helped in the recovery of 262 stolen vehicles, the location of 21 missing people, and the seizure of 68 firearms. You can review these and other statistics, as well as the location of all LPR cameras, on the License Plate Reader transparency page.

Republished from CivicLex.

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