Ypsilanti Township weighs license plate-reading cameras

Cost for cameras will be around $60,000

Cameras are simply everywhere these days, but how would you feel knowing your license plate was being recorded each time you enter or leave a particular part of town? A local township is considering a plan to install dozens of cameras for that purpose.

YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Cameras are simply everywhere these days, but how would you feel knowing your license plate was being recorded each time you enter or leave a particular part of town?

A local township is considering a plan to install dozens of cameras for that purpose.

Between 60 and 70 solar-powered license plate readers could soon be coming to Ypsilanti Township.

“I think it’s a good thing to have to the readers,” said resident Darcy Young.

“I don’t like that,” said resident Mar Benson. “That’s invading privacy for sure.”

Right now, it’s only a proposal, but the cameras would pretty much cover the township limits with more of a concentration on entrances and exits to the town.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department spoke virtually on the matter.

“These are stationary license plate capturers,” said Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department Commander Keith Flores. “They are computer-readable on the back. They essentially take identifiable information and license plates from the cars.”

Some, however, are worried that big brother will have even more control.

“If you’re able to read license plates then, what else are you able to read inside my car,” Benson said.

Local 4 is told that the cameras are not video cameras and will only have the capability of taking still images that are saved for 30 days.

“I think it would be good to crack down on crime as long as it’s not used to profile,” said Darcy Young.

You’ll never see a photo of the driver, only license plates. But still, some are saying they don’t like it.

“You got pros and cons to it,” Benson said. “But the cons outweigh the pros, though. Because at the end of the day, I don’t know what you’re scanning for,” Benson said.

The cost for the cameras will be around $60,000.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.