PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Almost all 25 new license plate cameras have been turned on in Providence on Thursday.
The cameras are part of a one-year pilot program and will take photos of the backs of all cars that pass by. The photos will be stored for 30 days before being deleted.
The city hopes the technology can serve as a crime-fighting tool that will help them catch criminals and recover stolen vehicles, but some Providence City Council members have raised privacy concerns.
The technology, owned by the company Flock Safety, can alert police if the cameras detect a license plate on a “hot list.” Police can also search the database of photos if they are looking for a specific car.
The list of locations where the cameras are located has not been released due to the possibility of vandalism, according to Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré.
The ultimate goal is to get dozens more cameras after the pilot program is complete.
The license plate recognition technology is also being used in other Rhode Island communities such as Cranston where there are 29 cameras.
Cranston Police Chief Col. Michael Winquist told Target 12 last month the license plate readers have resulted in 65 arrests, 38 stolen cars recovered and seven missing people located since they were deployed.