License plate cameras planned for Gwinnett Place business district

The Flock cameras are solar-powered.
The Flock cameras are solar-powered.

Credit: Casey Sykes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Casey Sykes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At least 50 license plate reading cameras are going up near Gwinnett Place Mall in the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District.

The business district outside of Duluth is partnering with Flock Safety and the Gwinnett County Police Department to add the license plate readers. The CID joins other metro locations that use the cameras to help fight crime, including Marietta, Sandy Springs and DeKalb County.

Police have recorded 32 criminal incidents in the CID in the past three months, including 14 entering auto cases, five auto thefts and two aggravated assaults. The new cameras will cover all of the areas where those incidents occurred, according to Sgt. J.R. Richter, a spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

The agreement is for Flock to install 50 cameras in 2020 at the cost of $2,000 each — $100,000 total — with the option to add more in the future, said said Joe Allen, the CID’s executive director. The cost of the 50 cameras will cover their use for two years.

The additional layer of security will be a “game changer” for law enforcement patrols of the area, Allen said.

“This is something that the police can take advantage of and use as a tool to fight crime,” Allen said. “It’s proactive in that it will alert them when a tag comes up that’s on a wanted list, whether it’s the FBI or Gwinnett.”

The cameras automatically scan license plates as cars pass by. The CID will give the police access to the data recorded by the cameras, and the police will use that data in criminal investigations, Allen said.

Allen also hopes the cameras will help improve the area’s reputation for safety. Traffic accidents and car break-ins are the biggest issues in the CID, but Allen says that the perception of crime in the area is greater than reality.

“People think there is high crime even though that is not the case,” Allen said. “With these cameras, we’re providing an additional community service for the area.”

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Sydney Schwebel is a junior at Appalachee High School in Winder.

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