Ypsilanti Township considers license plate readers at intersections

Ypsilanti Township remains divided on the idea of installing license plate readers around town. They'd be used by law enforcement to track any car at intersections throughout town but they're not popular with all residents.

The readers could capture everything about your car - including make, model, and plate info. The sheriff's office, which provides contracted policing services to the township, is considering adding them in areas around the city. 

Officials in Washtenaw County began exploring license plate readers several years ago after a township employee brought up the idea of them. 

"I think it’s a good idea just because around here you need to have more people being watched out for. If you look out for the little man by checking on everybody, I think it’s a good idea so we can help out more of the little guy around here," resident Joel Turner said.

"Oh, I absolutely think it’s too much big brother. I think it’s absolutely unnecessary," Claire Broderick said.

Washtenaw County sources tell FOX 2 that Ypsilanti Township asked the Sheriff’s Office to look at the idea to improve public safety. The data can be used to track down stolen cars, shooting suspects and help solve several other serious crimes.

The Sheriff’s Office made a virtual presentation to officials back in April to talk about the benefits but also highlighted concerns.

"Can we provide additional control or protection of personal data? Is there a way to make sure we are in better compliance with constitutional requirements? Any other benefits. I’m not sure of any of these however we believe that these are some of the questions that we have to ask," sheriff Jerry Clayton said.

The sheriff's office is seeking feedback through a survey here.

The Sheriff’s Department says the devices would NOT be used for surveillance and that they will be placed all over the township and not in one specific neighborhood.

Read the policy draft and FAQ sheet below. (Mobile users: If you can't see them, tap here for the policy and here for the FAQ):