301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

3.8.23 – Norman, Okla.

However, the plan is meeting some resistance.

Under a new proposal, 13 cameras would be spread across Norman, reading car tag

The camera would only identify a few things, such as the tag number, make and model. Norman police said it could help solve cases that sometimes go cold.

“We have a huge amount of cases where we just have to close the case. We don’t have any identifiable information that we can get a lead from,” said Maj. Jamie Shattuck with the Norman Police Department.

They are looking to lower crime in Norman by adding 13 tag-reading cameras. City council discussed Tuesday the pros and cons of the proposal.

Twelve Oklahoma cities already used the cameras from a company called “flock safety.” They alert police within 20 seconds if a car in their system is stolen or if there’s a warrant, an officer would have to verify the tag number with dispatch before making a stop.

“We can’t only use the camera system. It only gives us a starting point to get the correct vehicle,” Shattuck said.

Some council members, including Ward One’s Austin Ball, brought up concerns about privacy.

“The privacy issue’s a big deal for me. I think government having all of our citizens’ information, I’m not a big fan of it,” Ball said.

The city attorney did not share the concern.

“You’re driving out in public, on public streets in these cases and so I don’t think that cuts into any privacy implications you may have,” Ball said.

Council will have to vote on this in the near future as Norman police hope to see cameras by July. The cost would come from the police department’s budget and would be around $33,0000 for all the cameras.