Reno City Hall

New traffic cameras were unanimously approved for purchase by the Reno City Council on Monday. The cameras will help lower the amount of property theft happening in the city while making apprehending suspects easier.

“One of the unsolved crimes we have, many times, are property crimes, theft from vehicles and burglary,” Chief of Police Jeremy Massey, said.

The council approved the purchase of six cameras costing $2,000 each for a two year lease, totaling $12,000 per year.

“A two year lease would pay installation costs,” Chief Massey said.

The money was pulled from the crime control budget, for which Chief Massey had put $50,000 into the past year, into the contracted services budget for the purchase.

The cameras have motion sensors and are solar powered.

“One thing we can do is kind of make a virtual gateway into the city so that any vehicle that comes into the city will have a description, a photo, license plate information.

“A lot of times, what we have in the neighborhood, is we’ll have five, six, 10n cars burglarized. Because a lot of people have either ringing doorbell cameras or sometimes a camera outside, we get a side view of the vehicle, but that’s all. With this, we can use that to search any vehicle that matches a description and get a license plate number. It also picks up people walking, people on bicycles and even animals, so we can search for them that way,” Chief Massey said.

“Also, when vehicles come into the city, if it’s stolen, it’s an amber alert or silver alert, within forty seconds we get an alert that that vehicle came into the city and which way it came in, so we can react and intercept that vehicle.”

These are the same cameras that helped catch the shooting suspect earlier this year at Texas A&M-Commerce.

“Their capture rate is higher than traditional license plate readers,” Chief Massey said.

Before the approval vote, city council member Stacey Nichols had an question about the legality of the cameras because of possible lawsuits that might happen from using them.

“The usual rule in law is that if you do something in public, you don’t have any expectations of privacy,” said David Hamiliton, the Reno city attorney. “Your license plate number is public information.”

Jennifer Bussey is the assistant managing editor of The Paris News. She can be contacted at jennifer.bussey@theparisnews.com or 903-785-8744.

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