The City of Mt. Juliet and Mt. Juliet Police Department recently selected Rekor Systems, Inc. to roll out the community’s Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) program, which the department is terming as “Guardian Shield.”
According to police, the Guardian Shield program was initiated to enhance the community’s safety by providing the department an additional tool to further guard and shield Mt. Juliet’s residents and visitors from criminals who enter the city to cause harm.
Before selecting Rekor Systems, the department and I.T. professionals conducted testing and an extensive review of Rekor and other leading license plate recognition systems. The Rekor Systems product performed the best and has strong security protections in place to protect the video collected. A hit, generated from the Rekor product, also led to the successful apprehension of an armed and dangerous wanted person.
“Our number one priority is maintaining the safety of our community, and we are always looking for robust tools and technologies that can help us to do so,” said Police Chief James Hambrick. “Rekor’s Edge and Watchman vehicle recognition technology provided better results than its competition during our trial period. Importantly, it proved its value immediately during testing by helping us to catch a wanted fugitive and take a dangerous man off the streets. With higher accuracy than other providers, as well as the ability to affordably scale, Rekor’s solutions fit the needs of our department both now and for the future. We look forward to working with Rekor to make Mt. Juliet and the surrounding communities a safer place.”
Police say the Guardian Shield ALPR program will not be used for anything traffic enforcement related, and it will only be used to guard and shield the community from vehicles attached to a hotlist or investigate crimes, such as criminal homicide, forcible rape, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft, dangerous drug offenses, or a wanted person.
In addition, the technology records video and images of the vehicle, which is only kept for a period of 30 days. The technology does not track who is driving or who is in the car. More importantly, the system does not access the Department of Safety’s license plate database, so there is no way to access personal data or determine who owns the vehicle.
Thirty-seven locations for fixed-cameras were identified throughout the city that police believe would provide the best possible coverage to guard the entire Mt. Juliet community. Rekor Systems will support the cameras for around $89,000 a year, pending successful contract negotiations and final approval.