Several jurisdictions in the local area have either recently installed or are looking at purchasing automatic tag readers.
According to officials at a recent City Council meeting, Loganville Police Department is considering buying this equipment or a cost of $22,520. It is reported to be able to scan hundreds of tags per minute. Athens-Clarke County and the City of Monroe already have it installed and Oconee County recently tested the equipment. The reader reportedly only flags tags with problems and doesn’t keep a record of all the tags it scans.
Online Athens reported on the arrest of a woman earlier this year who was stopped after her tag was flagged by tag reader equipment being tested by Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. She subsequently became the suspect in a multi-state identity fraud scheme. Athens-Clarke County Police Department was reportedly able to identify a vehicle used in an Oconee bank robbery with the help of the equipment and eventually track down and arrest the suspect. Loganville Police Chief Mike McHugh said traffic stops often lead to arrests for more serious crimes.
However, the purchase of this equipment, at least for Loganville, has been put on hold pending more research. People in the communities are not that happy about the expense or what it perceives to be further infringement by government on the privacy of individuals.
“It is becoming blatantly apparent that the smaller jurisdictions are getting the same level of intrusion as the Federal government,” one reader posted on Patch after learning that the City of Monroe is already using the equipment.
“Great! One more tool for Loganville PD to ticket its citizens,” commented another. “I don't feel any safer just more taxed!”
What do you think? A useful tool for police to use to keep the community safe - or just a revenue generator and too much intrusion on the privacy of citizens?