Are the Tri-Cities Police Secretly Spying on You?
Are Tri-Cities Police Departments Spying on You?
Tri-Cities police are now using a new piece of hardware that gathers information and watches you like just like a spy.
Police License Plate Scanners Are in Tri-Cities
The new tool scans the license plates of all cars it sees and then compares the plate number to a national database of stolen cars.
When the tool gets a positive on a plate number, the officer is alerted immediately.
Tri-Cities Police Use New Tool to Scan for Stolen Cars
The device comes from Axon Fleet Systems and is a smart camera connected to a computer.
The Axion website describes the system as "Axon Fleet leverages Axon hardware and software as well as an agency's existing in-car technology to provide for a connected and reliable in-car video system."
The camera scans for license plate numbers and then checks that license plate against any known stolen cars, stolen license plates, kidnapped victims, or violent wanted suspects.
How Does Axon Fleet Systems Work?
The Axon Fleet Systems website describes exactly how this system works.
The first thing an officer has to do is sign in to the system and that "ensures that that subsequent video capture and Axon Fleet system activities are uniquely tied to the officer."
The in-car video playback has two main functions, live view, and video playback.
Internet Access or No Internet Acess
If the car has consistent internet access, the footage captured is converted and stored in cash on the MDT.
Then that file is sent securely to Evidence.com to compare with the database.
If the car does not have consistent internet, the cameras can be taken after a shift and clicked into an Axon dock back at the station.
The dock then completes the same process as described before.
Big Results in Just 9 Days of Use
The Richland Police Department says that the new tool has had a large impact in a short amount of time.
In just 9 days of use, the Axon device has helped them find 8 stolen vehicles, six stolen license plates, and two vehicles connected to violent offenders.
Results are great, but some in the community are concerned about privacy.
Concern Over New Richland Police Axon Fleet System
Yes, the Richland police are getting good results with the new camera systems but they are also making some people nervous.
What do they do with the other information gathered about cars not driven by people wanted by the law? Is that data kept safe and how long are they saving that data? Are they ever using the unused license plate or camera data for other uses?
I am all for criminals driving around in stolen cars getting caught quickly, but not at the expense of my own personal privacy. All of these questions need to be answered quickly. See the entire post from the Richland Wa Police Department below.