LEXINGTON, Ky. — The violence in Lexington has put safety at the top of many minds around central Kentucky. Now, city leaders want to invest more and expand Flock Safety camera systems across the city.
For nearly a year, there have been 25 extra pairs of eyes on the streets of Lexington, and now some officials in the city are hoping to add three times as many.
“To meet the challenges of the future, we must continue to modernize tools law enforcement and officers have,” Mayor Linda Gorton said about the technology that the city implemented nearly a year ago.
After months of what law enforcement is calling promising results, Gorton and some members of the city’s council want to move the program from the trial run to its next official phase, a nearly $230,000 annual cost.
The city’s police department says the 25 cameras alone have helped recover nearly $1.5 million worth of recovered vehicles, found 11 missing people, furthered nearly 40 investigations and much more.
Although the cameras have been challenged by those who label it as surveillance, Lexington police chief Lawrence Weathers commented, “We wanted to make sure that it was working. If we gave you the locations, maybe people would try to get around them and things like that. So we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to see how well it works. I think going that way kind of showed us that there was a need for it.”
Continuing to support the crime-tracking software are council members like Whitney Baxter who say the cameras can be helpful.
“That they felt like they were inequitably placed or in certain neighborhoods or certain areas and with an increased number of cameras they can be more accurately placed around the community. And so I’m hopeful that I have a lot of main thoroughfares in my district, that we will have more cameras there.” Baxter said.
Once a new contract with Flock is approved, the cameras could be placed around the city within the next three months.