Naples working to get citywide license plate reading cameras

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 18:24:59-04

More eyes could soon be in the sky to catch crooks in Naples. City leaders are working with Collier County officials on an interlocal agreement to install dozens of license plate reading (LPR) cameras on shared right-of-ways. Naples Police have already arrested several suspects, thanks to LPR cameras in certain neighborhoods.

On May 25, officers arrested burglary suspect Michael Alfonso Hernandez, 21, after they said his license plate was recorded by LPR cameras in the Royal Harbor neighborhood. A neighbor on Trout Court in Royal Harbor told police they saw a silver Mercedes in the driveway of another home on Trout Court, and made note of the license plate. Two televisions and valuable artwork were later determined to have been stolen from the residence. The Mercedes also discovered to have been stolen.

"I think its very imperative that they have those cameras," said Marianne Labesky, the realtor for the owners of the home that was burglarized. Her clients live in Germany.

Naples City Manager Bill Moss has been working with Collier County to get license plate reading cameras installed on roads it shares with the county, on roads going into and out of the city.

"What we're trying to do is get citywide coverage," Moss said. "But to do that, we have to place these cameras on right-of-way controlled by Collier County. So it took (getting) their permission."

The camera system will scan the license plates of passing vehicles and it to databases which can alert police of any wanted or suspicious vehicles.

Moss said the cameras will not be used as red-light cameras, or for any kind of traffic enforcement.

The cost for installing the cameras should cost about $450,000. Naples City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the agreement with Collier County on Wednesday.