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Glen Cove to Deploy License Plate Cameras

By Nolan Cleary

Glen Cove is set to introduce new license plate reading cameras around the city, to help police to identify vehicles of crime suspects.

But the new systems are not without controversy.

Glen Cove Mayor Pam Panzenbeck defends the introduction of the cameras citing the increase in burglaries and crime in New York, and the minimal impact to privacy on public streets.

"It is a valuable tool and a good resource for the police to help solve crimes," stated Panzenbeck.

But the ACLU opposes the cameras, claiming that the cameras are an infringement on privacy.

“License plate readers indiscriminately collect billions of location records nationwide and threaten to expose New Yorkers’ daily lives to an entirely new level of police tracking and spying,” stated Daniel Schwarz of the NY chapter of the ACLU. "People don’t want to live in a surveillance state."

Panzenbeck disagreed, and arguing that street cameras and videos of cars on public streets already exist, stating “Our privacy is already invaded.”

Cameras will be installed on poles at major intersections, and have solar panels installed within. 10 poles are set to include the cameras. Glen Cove has agreed to pay $53,500 for a contract lasting two years.

“It’s just a good investigatory tool for us, should we have a serious crime,” stated Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton. “We will be able to see a picture of the vehicle along with the license plate, and then we would have to do good old-fashioned detective work to see if that car was actually involved.”

Glen Cove is one of many Long Island municipalities to install license plate cameras. In accordance with the contract, all footage will be discarded within 30 days, though local police may continue to keep and store the footage.

The city recently signed a contract with the Atlanta-based Flock Group Inc. to produce the cameras.


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