Gastonia to install 9 license plate reading cameras, some folks uneasy

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Are license plate reading cameras that can also identify car makes and models a good idea, or a little two Big Brother? The Gastonia City Council recently approved the purchase of 9 cameras from Flock Safety for distribution around the City of Gastonia. The total cost for the project is $48,900. 

At a recent council meeting, police chief Trent Conard addressed the dais advocating for the new camera system. “It’s not something where we’re invading anyone’s privacy. We’re looking for criminal activity alone.” Conard said. But many advocacy groups are concerned about how the technology might be used. Chief Conard claims that where cameras are used, crime drops by 70%.