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East Peoria purchasing 15 automatic license plate readers

East Peoria Police
East Peoria Police

The city of East Peoria is the latest Central Illinois municipality to purchase automatic license plate readers from Flock Safety.

The East Peoria City Council voted Tuesday to buy 15 ALPR's from the company for $48,850 this year, with an annual cost of $40,000 thereafter.

"It's an investigative tool at heart," said East Peoria Police Chief Rich Brodrick. "This was made to help us have a jumping off point for investigations. It helps protect the city and the citizens and those who visit here. With that jumping off point, it helps us to get to a point where we can start the investigation and have leads right off the bat."

Peoria installed 16 Flock Safety ALPR's around the city back in February. Brodrick said East Peoria will largely mirror the policies crafted across the river. Peoria's policies were drafted in conjunction with the Peoria ACLU after the civil rights group expressed concerns about the cameras.

East Peoria Mayor John Kahl said that includes the guidelines for proper usage and data storage, while protecting constitutional rights and privacy.

"We're not reinventing the wheel with this. This is a program that's in place with some of the municipalities around us. And we can work in a collaborative effort to prevent some crime in this region," said Kahl.

Funding for the cameras comes from a $500,000 grant secured by state Sen. Dave Koelher (D-Peoria) for the East Peoria Police Department.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.