City of Naples to install more license plate readers

The City of Naples wants to expand technology to help keep residents safe and catch criminals.

City leaders explained the purpose of license plate readers is to track criminals, not speeders or drivers who run red lights. The cameras would help officials quickly identify criminals.

“The reader picks up the license plate, but all that does is just go into a bank, if you will,” said Jim Williams, chief of investigations at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “Someone wanted on a warrant or someone who might be a suspect on a crime … then that license plate number is tagged in there.”

The city approved the installation of 23 additional cameras to be placed at the entrance and exits of Collier County. The city already has 22 cameras in place.

More: Naples leaders pushing for license plate readers

Naples City Manager Bill Moss gave an example of how license plate readers helped catch a suspects car that was tagged.

“We put that information into the data system several days later the cameras identified that very same tag and alerted the police department,” Moss said. “When the police department found the vehicle it was full of stolen goods from residential burglaries.”

But while some believe the cameras are a great idea, others disagree.

“I don’t know how you take the innocent people that it might be used against something out of the equation,” Naples resident Gordon Potter said.

City and Collier County leaders say only a few detectives can access the information from the readers.

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