Princeton officials should review police policies for automated license plate reader use

Dear Editor:

As former Princeton Council members, we were surprised to learn that the Princeton Police Department had obtained an automated license plate reader from Mercer County while we were in office. Reports indicate that this occurred at a time when the governing body was actively discussing with the police chief the possible negative impacts of random license plate checks. Outstanding warrants for non-moving violations often ensnare low-income drivers in a downward spiral of ever-increasing court fines. 

Given that it has come to light that the police have been using an automated license plate reader, we urge the governing body, along with the police chief, to review existing policies for automated license plate reader use. If no policies exist, we encourage the council to work with the police department and the community to develop policies that are consistent with the values of the town while being mindful of public safety. 

Jo Butler
Jenny Crumiller

Ms. Butler and Ms. Crumiller previously served on the Princeton Council. De