The Greensboro City Council voted unanimously in favor of adding 15 cameras to the system already being used by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) at the Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting.
The GPD currently has 10 cameras that are primarily used to read license plates and Interim Police Chief Teresa Biffle said that the cameras have been useful in solving crimes and that she would follow-up with specific instances.
There was one speaker in opposition to increasing the number of GPD cameras who asked for a break-down of race, ethnicity and gender of those who had been photographed by the cameras.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “A lot of neighborhoods have asked me if they could have cameras.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “I certainly understand the need. A lot of community watches in my community have asked for them.”
She added, “We don’t want them all in one district because crime is everywhere.”
Biffle said that they had cameras in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 but none in District 4.
Councilmember Hugh Holston said, “The deterrent effect is also important.”
Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, who was presiding at the meeting because Mayor Nancy Vaughan was at a conference in Utah, said, “I’ve had a lot of people ask for those as well.”
She added that the license plate cameras had been used to find the person who shot a member of her family.
At the end of the discussion Lewis Pitts asked if he could speak on the topic even though he had not signed up.
Johnson said, “It’s up to the council.”
From the council a lot of “noes” were heard and no councilmember asked that Pitts be allowed to speak and he was not.
The cameras are owned and operated by Flock Group Inc., but the locations for the 15 additional cameras were selected by the GPD.