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Kenner, La., to More Than Double License Plate-Reader Network

City officials have approved the purchase of 55 more license plate reading cameras for deployment throughout the city. The newest deployment will complement the 38 cameras already in use.

(TNS) — Kenner is buying 55 more license plate readers for $294,250, to help police track vehicles traveling through the city.

Police Chief Keith Conley said the cameras will be used only for "investigatory purposes," not for enforcing traffic laws or determining whether a driver has liability insurance.

The City Council approved the two-year contract with the Atlanta-based surveillance firm Flock Safety on Thursday.

Calling it the "newest mousetrap in license plate recognition," Conley said the cameras are capable of tracking a vehicle even if it doesn't have a license plate, by zeroing in on details such as a bumper sticker or grill. Once identified, a vehicle can be tracked across the entire network of cameras. The technology can also detect gunshots.

"It gives you another eye," Conley said. "It's just as good as patrolman."


Unless flagged for an investigation, the recordings will be erased after 30 days, Conley said. Kenner will store the data at no additional cost, under an existing contract with Axon Enterprises Inc.

Kenner already has 38 license plate detectors, although to work they must be hooked up to outside power and Internet sources, which can sometimes be spotty. The newer technologies are solar-powered, Conley said.

Jefferson Parish Council member Dominick Impastato, whose district includes north Kenner, agreed to set aside $200,000 in his office's discretionary funds to help Kenner buy the cameras. Conley hopes to make up the difference with grants or money from Louisiana state government.

Impastato, term-limited in his 4th District seat, announced this week he will challenge incumbent Scott Walker in next year's race for the Division B at-large seat.


In another gift for Kenner, Impastato set aside $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to help renovate Muss Bertolino Playground. The City Council approved a cooperative endeavor agreement Thursday accepting the money.

Impastato said the overhaul of Muss Bertolino is still in the planning stages, adding that the firm Principal Engineering Inc. is drawing up "big picture concepts." He wants to reconfigure the space to include six to eight baseball diamonds.

The City Council also signed off on $120,000 contract with Connick and Associates LLC to lobby on behalf of the municipality at the state and federal level. The firm is owned by James "Dutchie" Connick, brother of District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. and state Sen. Patrick Connick of Marrero.

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