Chadbourn to add license plate reader cameras at town entrances, high crime areas

Chadbourn to add license plate reader cameras at town entrances, high crime areas
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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CHADBOURN, N.C. (WECT) -Chadbourn will soon have a dozen license plate reader cameras at all entrances to town.

“We’ve got 12 different roads that come in to Chadbourn. And they will be at the city limits just barely in the city limits,” police chief Ken Elliott said.

He brought the idea to town council after seeing more than a dozen crimes solved in Elizabethtown with the same technology.

The only difference-- they will have four additional cameras in high crime areas of Chadbourn. Those four locations haven’t been nailed down just yet-- Elliott said there is still some research to do.

“The higher crime areas are also problem areas, the pedestrian foot traffic will come into play if someone actually goes in that area on foot,” Elliott said. “Where our shots fired calls have been coming from or violent crime concentrations. And that’s why they’ll be placed there.”

Elliott said he’s confident these cameras will help them solve more crimes both in town and out of town.

“One of our cases on our stolen vehicles, actually was solved by Flock cameras in another jurisdiction. So being able to network once we start searching for that vehicle, we can network with these other departments and the ordering agencies, agencies, and all it does is expand. It strengthens all of the law enforcement entities,” Elliott said. “It’s not manipulative by law enforcement. It’s very secure and it’s very transparent. I think this would be a great thing.”

Chadbourn’s mayor, Phillip Britt, said he’s gotten mostly positive feedback from residents, but the biggest complaint so far has been the nearly $85,000 cost of the cameras.

“And my answer to that is, how much is a human life worth? Is there a price tag on that? We have to spend money to keep our citizens safe. If we’re going to spend money, we think there is no dollar value on that. Our citizens are important to us, and we’re going to do everything we can possibly do to keep them safe,” Britt said.

His overall message: “The message going out from this is if you’re planning to come to Chadbourn and commit a crime, we’re planning to put you in jail. So, if you come here, and you threaten or harm our citizens, we will do everything in our power to see to it that you’re in jail for. This is not the place for that, we want our citizens safe.

The cameras are expected to be up within two to three months once the contract is signed, which is expected to be any day now.

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