License plate readers installed at intersections in the City of Buffalo are "in a test phase," according to Mayor Byron Brown.
A story in Tuesday's edition of The Buffalo reported on how the city has installed plate readers at the busy intersection of Broadway and Bailey Avenue. The Brown administration had not made any public comment until today.
The mayor points out many police vehicles have plate readers, so they are not new in Buffalo. Brown says before they are put into service, the Common Council will have to approve their use.
"The purpose for a potential mounted plate reader would be to prevent crime [and] aid in police investigations and, in other municipalities, they have been particularly helpful in aiding in police investigations," Brown said Tuesday.
In a written statement, Brown's Republican mayoral challenger Sergio Rodriguez said the "when the public's privacy is compromised they have a right to know and the right to weigh in on the issue."
Brown says the technology will only be used to aid law enforcement and to act as a deterrent to crime. He says there will not be a public hearing on license plate readers.
"When we put in the surveillance cameras, which now just about every neighborhood and every business district in the city wants, there was no public hearing," Brown said.
The mayor says the city council will have a public meeting on the issue, which citizens can attend.