Bloomington City Council approves contract for automatic license plate readers

The city will pay Flock Safety $32,500 the first year, and $27,500 the second year of the contract. (WJBC file photo)


BLOOMINGTON – Bloomington Police will soon have the technology officers said they need to help solve major crimes.

The city council voted 8-1 Monday night to approve a two-year contract with Flock Safety to install automatic license plate-reading cameras. The first year of the contract, cameras will be placed at 10 locations that police identify as being impacted by violent crime.

Some residents and the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about privacy issues, and the matter was tabled in January for more discussion.

By delaying action, council member Sheila Montney said her colleagues may have made it harder for police to solve recent crimes.

“Here in our community, we’ve had two additional homicides that have taken place since then, that to the best of my knowledge have not been solved, and we’ve now learned of a missing body of a child that having technology like this could help solve,” Montney said.

The only no vote came from Julie Emig, who said she’s heard from many of her constituents, and she wants to give them a voice.

“There are still open questions about potential risks, consequences around transparency, precedent,” Emig said.

Any problems that develop can be brought before the city’s public safety and community relations board, and the city council, said council member Donna Boelen, who also voted with the majority.

The city will pay Flock Safety $32,500 the first year, and $27,500 the second year of the contract.


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