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MJPD releases proposal for camera program

A request for proposal was released last week by the City of Mt. Juliet Information Technology (I.T.) department to identify a vendor who will provide Mt. Juliet Police Department’s Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) camera program.

Police say that when complete, the ALPR program will not be used for anything traffic enforcement related. It will solely alert Mt. Juliet Police officers on vehicles listed on a Hotlist or investigate crimes, such as criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft, dangerous drugs, or a wanted person.

License plate data captured by the ALPR program can only be retained for 90 days per state law. However, the department will only keep data for 30 days per internal policy unless it is data associated with a criminal investigation.

“Ultimately, our department wants to protect our community from criminals who come into our city to victimize our residents and visitors,” said Police Chief James Hambrick. “Many of the criminals use stolen vehicles or vehicles that have been used in serious crimes as a mode of transportation to travel into our city. The ALPR program will alert us to their presence so they can be apprehended before victimizing someone in our community. We cannot nor do we have the desire to use the cameras for automated traffic enforcement to catch motorists running red lights or speeding.”

After the city allocated $100,000 in funding to support the program this fiscal year, beginning in July, the department and I.T. professionals began to evaluate the different technology associated with ALPR programs. During the process, 37 locations were identified throughout the city as potential locations for an ALPR camera so that the prospective vendor could provide an approximate cost for the overall program. Those locations were identified because they give the best possible coverage to protect the entire Mt. Juliet community.

Among the proposed sites are Nonaville Road/Saundersville Road, North Mt. Juliet Road/East Division Street, Central Pike/South Mt. Juliet Road, and more. A full list or proposed camera locations can be found online at www.mjpdnews.org.

The department tested a single ALPR site for around 60 days, which led to the discovery of stolen vehicles and wanted persons who were apprehended. In one instance, officers pursued a stolen vehicle that was occupied by four teenagers, back into Nashville before the pursuit was terminated due to dangerous speeds.

A vendor will be selected after proposals are received on Dec. 17, 2019.

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