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Palm Springs Police explain use of technology, military equipment with residents

Several residents met with Palm Springs police to learn more about the technology used to help combat crime in the city.

Police held a Community Townhall on Monday so residents could get a better understanding of the military equipment and technology being used in their city.

“We really want the public to be comfortable with our use of this technology. How we audit it, how we control it, who has access to it and when and be as open and transparent with us as we possibly can," said Lieutenant William Hutchinson.

Drones, automated license plate readers, cameras and armored vehicles were the main focus of the night.

Hutchinson tells us Palm Springs currently has license plate readers on police cars, but they are in the process of trying to get them on street lights, poles and certain parts of the city.

“The idea is to have these at major intersections at the entrances and exits to the city. So we can see who's coming and going," he said.

Street cameras are often a controversial topic in terms of privacy, but residents we spoke with say they welcome it.

“I think they're terrific. I wish more cars had license plates on the front as well be more readings would be taken," said resident William Ruttan.

“I come from London where we have cameras everywhere. So this is not a surprise... Every street has about 20 cameras on and use facial recognition to so they know where you walk in know what So you're going into an everything. It's part of technology," said Palm Springs resident Richard Pass.

Hutchinson says these type of technologies can make a big difference in tracking crime and traffic throughout the city.

“We want to be able to identify stolen vehicles or missing people, violent offenders," he explained. "It's because of camera technology like that, that we can solve crimes 100 times faster than we are currently today.”

Palm Springs Police tell us they’re bringing their proposal for fixed license plate readers to city council at the end of the month.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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