Plate reader data to be dumped after 24 hours

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By John Barnhart

    A number of supervisors were concerned about the length of time Sheriff Mike Brown was keeping data from the license plate reader his office deploys.
    In a letter Brown wrote to the supervisors, which was included in their packets at tonight’s meeting, Brown wrote that the information picked up by the reader will be purged after 24 hours, unless it is needed for legitimate law enforcement purposes.  He also pledged to notify the supervisors in advance if circumstances require a change in his office’s policy concerning the reader.
    District 4 Supervisor John Sharp, who had asked Brown to explain his license plate reader policy to the board of supervisors at a Sept. 6 work session, is satisfied with the change because it does not retain license plates that “don’t get a hit.”
    “I’m pleased with the Sheriff’s new policy,” he said. “I appreciate Sheriff Brown’s new policy. It helps us balance law enforcement and liberty.”
    Sharp said that he does not want to live in a surveillance society, but he also wants law enforcement to have the tools to investigate crime.
    “I do think it’s a good balance between law enforcement and the citizens’ right to expect privacy,” he said.