- San Jose, CA City Councilman Johnny Khamis is proposing the city mount license plate readers on garbage and recycling trucks in an initiative he calls "Refuse to the Rescue." The readers would help the understaffed police force scan license plates for stolen vehicles, as well as help prevent robberies in progress or child abductions.
- Khamis said the idea would only cost a few thousand dollars every year, and emphasizes that garbage collection companies and their workers will not be able to access the data.
- Mayor Sam Liccardo supports the proposal, but added: "I think certainly we want to understand the civil liberties implications, the legal implications. Any time you're putting cameras out in public — I think we're all concerned about that."
By adding the license plate readers to the trucks, police will be able to monitor areas of San Jose that trash haulers already travel each week. The idea is an interesting and efficient way to assist the police force in targeting a large city without any added effort from haulers.
However, the mayor's statement about privacy concerns is important for everyone involved — the city, the police, citizens, and the trash collectors.
The proposal will likely go before the full city council in two weeks.