Georgia Power Company leasing license plate readers to police departments

It appears the police in Brookhaven, Georgia are not content with just having their own ‘Operation Plugged In’ cam-share program.

What they have done is create one of the most disturbing corporate/police relationships I have had the displeasure of writing about.

Last year the Brookhaven Police Department and the Georgia Power Company entered into a unique partnership. It is unique because the power company has begun leasing their utility poles equipped with their license plate readers and CCTV cameras to police departments. Reporter reveals that “Georgia Power will retain ownership of the cameras.” 

“In January 2017, the police department was contacted by Georgia Power regarding a newly formed division. Which was created to provide law enforcement agencies the opportunity to increase the use of video cameras and license plate readers.”

Georgia Power’s SiteView surveillance camera system promoting police spying is despicable. Why is a utility company in the surveillance business at all?

The city of Brookhaven will pay Georgia Power $700,000 to spy on residents.

“Georgia Power will provide 44 license plate readers to be located on its utility poles for a total of $19,476.64 per month for three years for a total of more than $700,000.”

It doesn’t get any more disturbing than that, a power company profiting from police surveillance.

Georgia Power claims their camera footage is sent to a third-party (Vigilant Solutions) and the Brookhaven PD owns the data and feed.

Georgia Power’s, sorry I meant Brookhaven PD’s cameras spy on millions of vehicles every month.

Police Chief Gary Yandura said the license plate readers on utility poles have scanned about 3.5 million license plates a month resulting in over 95,000 alerts a month mostly for minor offenses like, expired tags and suspended insurance. The City Council refers to it as the Georgia Power license plate reader (LPR) network.

What is wrong with this picture?

How can a city with only 51,000 people generate 95,000 alerts a month? Does anyone really think there are 95,000 criminals in or around Brookhaven?

95,000 alerts is nothing when compared to the 6 billion license plates, Vigilant Solutions has collected. Vigilant Solutions also expects to collect more than 150 million license plates every month.

Georgia Power’s new SiteView program is corporate/government spying on an industrial scale.

A look at Georgia Power’s ‘Installation Photos’ appears to reveal surveillance cameras installed on utility poles pointed at multi-family units, churches, restaurants, shopping centers, hotels/motels and much more.

Georgia Power’s partners reads like a who’s who in surveillance with companies like Vigilant SolutionsGenetecAxis CommunicationsWCCTV, and Avigilon (Motorola) all helping to spy on millions of people.

So to recap, residents are paying Georgia Power to let the police spy on them.

I wonder if residents will be charged a $5.00 monthly ‘police surveillance’ surcharge or will the city increase property taxes to help pay for the surveillance?

Why is there no mass media coverage and where is the public outrage? 

Power companies providing surveillance equipment to the police is deplorable. This must be stopped before this practice spreads across the country.

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