Tag tracking video system to be installed on Lookout Mountain
People living on Lookout Mountain, on both the Tennessee and Georgia side, have raised tens of thousands of dollars to improve security in the community. The towns will be installing surveillance cameras at major intersections leading into the area that will track and read license plates.
After a rash of break-ins a few years ago, residents on Lookout Mountain rallied together, wanting to keep closer tabs on who is coming and going. They say this new video tracking system will help curb crime.
"There's only so many ways in and off the mountain," says Lookout Mountain Police Chief Randy Bowden.
The Lookout Mountain community wants to know who is passing through their neighborhood. Residents raised $88,000 to install video cameras, with the ability to record license plate numbers.
"All the monies came in from donations from the two cities," says Bowden.
Chief Bowden says this week crews have been installing the necessary wiring for the cameras. Once it is up and running, the tag information captured will be stored in a database at police headquarters on the Tennessee side.
"The information's not going to be held for a long time."
Bowden says there is only enough room to store about a month's worth of photos. He says the information will help police in tracking down criminals.
"These cameras are strictly for criminal investigations. Nothing used for traffic. Nothing used for writing any tickets," says Bowden.
"If you have a problem with it, you're doing something wrong, maybe," says Chattanooga resident Jim Musial.
Musial, who frequents the mountain, says he has no problem with cameras watching him.
"Everything's an invasion of privacy if you want some security. You have to pay for it one way or another. You let people run rampant or you get it monitored," says Musial.
Other people agree.
"I do think it's proactive, especially if the local residents have pitched in money for this project, then definitely," says Josh Morales.
"Very few people have complained about it. It's really no different than if you pull in a Wal-Mart parking lot. You've just got a camera there that says 'under surveillance,'" says Bowden.
He says he just wants to keep his community safe.
"It's just another good step in working a burglary case or a break-in."
Chief Bowden says the system will not be running the tags through any sort of criminal database, to catch people with active warrants. It will strictly be used to follow up on crimes. The camera system should be up and running in February.