Carlsbad is expanding its use of automated license plate readers into a system that aims to collect the registration information of every vehicle that enters the city.
The $1 million Police Department project — which will add stationary cameras at 14 key Carlsbad intersections, creating a virtual gateway at the city’s borders — was approved by the City Council last week, sparking outrage over privacy rights and government control from several residents and one council member.
Four council members, however, said they’re confident the information can be kept secure and that the system will increase safety for residents and police officers. They also said it may deter criminals from breaking the law in the city.
“To me, $1 million is a drop in the bucket when you are trying to protect 100,000 or more people, and everyone who comes into our city every day,” said Councilman Keith Blackburn, a retired police officer. “I don’t think this … is going to violate privacy.”