To avoid bias and reduce crime, police turn to license plate readers

As the public has become increasingly concerned with the bias creeping into technologies like facial recognition, some police departments are opting instead to install license plate readers that authorities say sidestep bias concerns and can reduce the likelihood of violent encounters.

The police department in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb, are finishing installation of a network of license plate readers at 39 locations, which may already be reducing the incidence of certain types of crimes. The department started researching LPR last year following a spike in car burglaries, stolen cars and stolen weapons in the Nashville region, said Mt. Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler.