Kettering delays deal with business for license plate detection cameras

KETTERING — The city is delaying a decision whether to contract with a business to install automatic license plate detection cameras.

Kettering City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to remove an item from its agenda which would have allowed a deal with Flock Group Inc.

Councilman Bruce Duke said the issue was delayed because some members of the legislative body had not assumed their newly elected positions when the contract was discussed. Four members — including Mayor Peggy Lehner — began their terms in January.

“We are simply going to postpone this until we can get all of those questions answered for those folks and then we will move forward one way or the other,” Duke said.

If approved, the deal would have Flock install 10 cameras across the city to help police solve crimes, City Manager Mark Schwieterman has said.

Centerville and Vandalia have approved the license plate reading cameras while Dayton has considered them after a 2020 pilot program, officials said.

Kettering already has traffic cameras at major intersections throughout the city, but the Flock system uses “intelligent cameras” that provide more details, Schwieterman said.

Flock’s system is used by more than 1,200 cities as a means of helping neighborhoods, businesses and police to eliminate crime, according to company’s website.

Flock says its systems have helped police solve hundreds of murders and violent crimes, recover thousands of stolen vehicles and seize hundreds of illegal weapons.

However, information captured on automatic license plate readers – including the license plate number, and the date, time and location of every scan – is being collected and sometimes pooled into regional sharing systems, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU also expressed concerns that there are with “few or no restrictions to protect privacy rights” involving the collected data.

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