License-plate reading cameras make some Maricopans feel safer.
While Maricopa police have been using these cameras, manufactured by Flock Safety, since their installation in 2019 and 2020, InMaricopa wanted to know where the citizens stand on their usage.
The Flock cameras take still photos but cannot capture video, Monica Williams, spokesperson for Maricopa police said. They snap a photo of the rear of a vehicle and use a type of artificial intelligence to decipher the plate number. The photos are uploaded to a database. They are automatically purged after 30 days.
“These cameras download photos of vehicle license plates that pass the camera and check them against national and local hotlists for stolen vehicles, stolen plates, registered sex offenders and subjects with major felony warrants,” Williams said.
Given that, our question to readers in last week’s unscientific poll was: “How do you feel about having 32 license-plate reading cameras around Maricopa?” A total of 620 people responded.
The leading response favored the city’s usage of the cameras, at 50% or 310 votes, was: “They make me feel safer knowing they help law enforcement do their job more effectively.”
The next-greatest response was: “I dislike them. Don’t Chandler my Maricopa,” which made up 28% of votes, and was voted for by 173 people.
The third most voted response was “I am not a huge fan, but they help prevent and solve crime,” voted by 15%, 95 people.
It turns out that 42 of our voters are not wanted by law enforcement. They voted “I am indifferent – I’m not on a hotlist,” making up 7% of the total votes.