By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor
(The Center Square) — Lawmakers could soon consider legislation allowing cities to install noise detection cameras.
“These are a little bit like red light cameras where they can measure the decibels coming out of the car, take a picture of your license plate, mail you the ticket,” state Rep. Betsy Holland, D-Atlanta, said during a virtual town hall last week.
“So, we’re taking this off the plates of our law enforcement officers, we’re reducing traffic stops, and we’re actually addressing the problem with technology,” Holland added. “I’m all about utilizing technology in public safety as much as possible because I think it keeps people safer.”
Under current state law, lawmakers say that cities cannot use such devices.
“The city of Atlanta has said, ‘we love this idea; we have funding for this idea, but the state prohibits us from using cameras unless they actually create a carve-out for that specific camera.’ We had to do it years ago for red light cameras,” Holland added. “…We have to create what we call enabling legislation that will allow the cities to do [what] they want to do.”
Meanwhile, state Rep. Sandra Scott, D-Rex, has reintroduced a series of criminal justice reform bills first introduced during the 2021 legislative session.
According to a news release, Scott introduced five bills as part of the package, including House Bill 107, which would direct agencies to provide body cameras for on-duty officers. It would also require the attorney general to report data detailing police officers’ use of force annually.
HB 112, the “Ethical Policing Act,” would allow counties and cities to form citizen review boards “to examine police misconduct,” while HB 113 would mandate police departments to provide de-escalation training to officers. HB 114 would authorize “implicit bias” training for officers, while HB 115 would ban officers and agencies from racial profiling.
“I am constantly having conversations with constituents about police accountability, racial profiling and ethical policing in Georgia,” Scott said in an announcement.