Lexington mayor asks to expand city’s flock camera pilot program

Lexington mayor and police chief update city's Flock Camera program
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:13 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is asking to expand the city’s flock camera pilot program.

Earlier this year, 25 flock license plate readers were installed throughout the city. The readers take still photos of license plates, to help with local investigations.

Mayor Gorton and Police Chief Lawrence Weathers now want the Urban County Council to expand the program with 75 more cameras.

“Even though the pilot program is not a year old, the technology has already proved itself on Lexington’s streets,” Mayor Gorton said.

The flock pilot program started in the Spring with 25 license plate readers. Since then, police have recovered close to 100 stolen vehicles and more than 400 charges have been placed, using evidence gathered through the readers.

“I think the numbers make it clear, we need to move forward and fully implement this program,” Mayor Gorton said.

Mayor Gorton and Police Chief Weathers are now asking council to install 75 additional license plate readers in Lexington.

“To meet the challenges of the future, we must continue to modernize the tools our law enforcement officers have,” Mayor Gorton said.

The locations of the readers will be determined using traffic patterns and crime data.

“It’s no secret that our roadways are used to facilitate crimes, and putting them on those more heavily traveled roadways would make sense to me,” Chief Weathers said.

During the pilot program, the locations of those first 25 license plate readers were not made public, but Mayor Gorton and Chief Weathers say that will change after the installment of the 75 additional readers.

“I think going that way kinda showed us that there was a need for it, and a bigger need for it,” Chief Weathers said. “So, once we get the 75 installed, I don’t think it’ll be an issue letting people know where they are.”

Mayor Gorton says she already included funding for the additional readers in the current budget which was approved by council. Now, an additional vote from council is required, giving the green light for the program to move forward.

Mayor Gorton says she plans to ask council to vote on the expansion tomorrow. She says the numbers make it clear that the program should move forward.

Since the pilot program began, police have recovered more than $1.4 million worth of vehicles and 165 individuals have been charged, along with 11 missing people being found.