Driver beware: Big Brother may be watching
NBC2 News | August 22, 2005
MARCO ISLAND— The Marco Island Police Department wants to install cameras that would record traffic coming onto and going off the island. A video camera would record traffic on the bridges and a digital camera would take pictures of every license plate. Each plate would be run against law enforcement databases to check for warrants, stolen vehicles and sexual offenders.
Whether you're coming or going, Big Brother may soon be watching you on Marco Island.
"Video cameras have been used to augment law enforcement services all across the country," said Roger Reinke, Marco Island Police Chief.
Reinke wants to spend $100,000 to buy a new camera system that would monitor traffic on and off the island.
"We would have cameras installed on both the Jolley Bridge and the Goodland Bridge," said Reinke.
A video camera would take video of the cars going over the bridge. The footage would be saved for future reference.
A still digital camera, would take pictures of every license plate and automatically feed the tag number to several law enforcement databases.
"To see if the car is stolen, if the registered owner has a warrant or if the registered owner is a sex offender," said Reinke.
Police would then be automatically alerted.
Resident David Korody says he wouldn't mind being recorded if it would help keep the bad guys away.
While the cameras won't stop crime from happening in the city, police hope they'll deter criminals from visiting the island.
"If they thought their license was going to be scanned, I think it would deter," said Korody.
While the crime rate on Marco Island doesn't compare to larger cities, the police department's goal is to eliminate crime altogether.