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GA: Tag reading cams going up at these schools to catch speeders, sex offenders

[ – 6/22/19]

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – School’s out, but new safety measures are already planned for the upcoming school year.

New tag reading cameras are going up at four schools in Gwinnett County to catch speeders and sex offenders in school zones.

“I believe it’ll be a great idea because the safety of our children is what’s important,” said parent Lauren Walker-Robertson.
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Officials are also working to allow the cameras access to the statewide offender database. That way, the cameras can read tags and alert police of sex offenders who enter school zones.
“So, it’s not just speed cameras, it’s two-fold. It also acts as a safety measure for the schools as well,” Sadowski said.

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Here’s a new kind of headline: “Tag reading cams going up at these schools to catch speeders, sex offenders”

To be clear, they’re going to “catch” sex offenders who drive their cars down city streets in the vicinity of public schools.

“Officials are also working to allow the cameras access to the statewide offender database. That way, the cameras can read tags and alert police of sex offenders who enter school zones.” Alert them to do what?

That’s in Georgia, in case anyone is curious. Maybe not the first time this has been done, and doubtless not the last.

That is very interesting @NDIK. Thanks for bringing that here. A couple things: 1) They capture the license plate tag of the speeding car registered to the owner of the car, but not the driver specifically for possibly citing as speeding through a school zone (usually a larger traffic citation punishment). So what? This will do what good? Last I knew, there was no third party traffic infraction citing system in place for someone other than the registered owner is driving the car and breaks a traffic law. 2) Same sentiment as #1 but substitute “person impacted by the registry… Read more »

People who support this “$EX offender” stuff truly are just morons. The cameras are a great idea. We need to keep people from speeding in school zones. But the “$EX offender” stuff? Pure nonsense that will obviously distract police and anyone else from doing actually useful work. That is IF anyone actually pays attention to it. Which is hard to imagine that they would be that damn dumb. Or, once they see how useless it is, surely wouldn’t be that dumb for long. It is not illegal in Georgia for Registered People (RPs) to drive through school zones. I don’t… Read more »

As far as I know, there are no restrictions on a person in Ga convicted of sex crime to drive down a public street (unless if they are on intensive supervision and then it’s still very doubtful).

Georgia’s laws place restrictions on where registered citizens reside, work, or loiter. Driving to the store, or to the Sheriff’s Office to register, it not residing, working, or loitering. An 8 second video of tags would hardly be sufficient, IMO, to prove loitering. That’s less time than an average nose-pick. Driving rapidly enough to trigger a speed camera seems the opposite of loitering. “OMG didn’t realize there was a school on this road, feets don’t fail me now!”

You are correct about Georgia’s laws but additionally, any restrictions depend on when a person was convicted (and/or perhaps when probation/parole ends or whatever – but point being that restrictions are date-based). Some people don’t have any restrictions at all. Having said that, I think any RP can go to schools, parks, or wherever. Going to a school to pick up a child, to vote, or to watch a sports game is not loitering. Their “scans” for Registered People (RPs) will be nothing but a nuisance to them. If they are smart, they won’t be paying any attention to it.… Read more »

@ Will Allen “Having said that, I think any RP can go to schools, parks, or wherever. Going to a school to pick up a child, to vote, or to watch a sports game is not loitering.” In Wisconsin it is a class A misdemeanor for 1st offence and Class H felony for 2nd offence to be in a school / play field / school property …. note; If you have a child in school you can notify the principal and jump through some hoops to work within the law. Voting is okay. Deliveries to the school are subject to… Read more »

100% unacceptable. Learn the people who support that and do anything you can to lower the quality of their lives. Keep it legal. But there is no reason they should live in peace.

I’M in rock county and just getting into an FTR with purpose. It may be possible to get your testimony concerning the state’s use of the registry AND affirmative restraints etc. IF YOU’RE INTERESTED. I’m just underway and see the judge for the first time July 9. It is time to expose & ” the people’s true intent”.

@ Tim in Wi
Tim I think we may have corresponded previously. I could not bring up the e-mail I think you sent me—-

In CA, I believe it’s a felony for ANY RC to be on school grounds at ANY point of time, regardless of the reason, unless you have written permission from the school principle. There are no exceptions for voting or anything else.

Same comment as I just made to “JM from wi” – 100% unacceptable. Learn the people who support that and do anything you can to lower the quality of their lives. Keep it legal. But there is no reason they should live in peace.

Here you go California PC 626.81 (B) A Unless the principal or authorized administrator finds that it is in the best interest of the child for the person to attend a specific event and authorizes the attendance at the event, a person may not enter into a school building or upon school grounds pursuant to this paragraph if he or she is required to register for a conviction in a court in this state or a federal or military court of a violation of Section 243.4, 261, 286, 288, 288.5, 288a, or 289, Section 209 with the intent to violate… Read more »

I think you may have been looking at an outdated section. Here’s the current one that seemingly covers all 290’s, not just the penal codes your post lists. 626.81. (a) A person who is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290, who comes into any school building or upon any school ground without lawful business thereon and written permission indicating the date or dates and times for which permission has been granted from the chief administrative official of that school, is guilty of a misdemeanor. (b) (1) The chief administrative official of a school may… Read more »

Being on school grounds is a separate issue from the tag reading cameras. While there may be questions about whether statutes forbid someone from being on school grounds, what requires permission, what date was the offense, etc., there certainly nothing in Georgia statutes indicates it is prohibited to drive a vehicle past a school.

I guess the question will become is showing up on this tag cam a probable cause to detain for questioning.

It is a separate issue. If a Registered Person (RP) in GA is driving a car down a street past a school (or anywhere else) like any other normal person, there is no probable cause to stop the RP, let alone ask them what they are doing. If I was stopped, I would try to legally harm whomever did it. Probably for years and years, depending on how I felt. I don’t have any questions about RPs being in schools in GA. I think it is allowed for any normal reason as for any other person. I do not think… Read more »

Of course they don’t let anyone comment on their news articles.

What part of “TEACHERS have Sexual Relationships with their Students” do those idiot politicians not understand?

Not once have I seen a single report of anyone on the registry just ‘Loitering’ at or around the school.

Do they have an IQ test before you are elected into politics? Any qualifications such are reading and math comprehension skills required?

It’s just a money grab by the county.The sex offender line was just thrown in to silence opposition to the cameras being installed.

Now we just wait for the inevitable falls arrest when a registrants spouse uses the family car to drop and pickup kids. That should be a fun can of worms. I wonder if they thought of any provisions for this very likely outcome.

I should take a trip there and stand about a few blocks away and shine my 6.5 watt blue laser right at the CCD ! burn a few cams out that will cost them quite a few bucks to keep replacing ! !! And im not sure on destruction of property but 100% legal for me to own and use LOL (just a 6.5Watt laser not LEGAL to sell !)

So they will be tracking a specific group of people that arent doing anything wrong?

I do believe that falls under the same unconstitional umbrella as GPS tracking of people where it wasnt judicially determined to be needed as part of their probation or parole. Without a warrant, that’s a no-no.

@Chris f: This is not a 4th amendment issue like the continuous search of GPS monitoring. Videotaping your car traveling down the road past a fixed point is not the same as tracking you, nor is it a “search”. Even if you are captured on camera by many different cameras, it doesn’t constitute tracking. This camera is capturing 8 seconds of video of everyone who travels down the street in its view. There is no expectation of privacy while in public, particularly when traveling on public roads. Police cannot conduct a search of your car absent probable cause, but they… Read more »

I would have to disagree that it isnt a violation of the 4th if they are cross referencing and pulling just the info of a registered citizen. Once you have enough data on a persons locations it violates them whether they pull itnfrom gps coordinates or from a combination of license plate and facial recognition cameras. It would be different if they were using publicly available data to investigate an actual crime.

@CR & @Chris f: IIRC, it’s the physical attachment of a tracking device to a car (US v. Jones, which was a slamdunk) or a person (Grady, the NC RC) that SCOTUS found to be a 4th Amdt. unreasonable search. From Jones: “the Government’s physical intrusion on an ‘effect’ for the purpose of obtaining information constitutes a ‘search.'” The only question after that was the reasonableness of it. However, given these cameras are catching regulated activity (driving on a public road) in the public forum, and nothing is physically attached to one’s effects, I don’t see how it rises to… Read more »

@AJ I understand it sounds like a reach, but I base my opinion on reading the majority and dissenting opinions from both gps and cell phone tower tracking data, and that third party doctrine stuff. If the government can use the accumulated historical data to track a person’s travels that may involve thier religion, association’s, family, and political functions then that requires a warrant with probable cause or government is over reaching its bounds. The ends cant justify the means. They cant look into your private affairs until they find something and then get a warrant to use that data.… Read more »

@Chris f: “They cant look into your private affairs until they find something and then get a warrant to use that data.” —– Your statement makes the point: private affairs. Performing a State-regulated act (driving) on a public roadway in plain view is nowhere near a private affair. Therein lies the constitutionality. Were the a constitutional problem, don’t you think there would be all sorts of lawsuits for those pop-up cop camera towers? Or for businesses or individuals recording the public areas around their private property? Also, recording affairs in public doesn’t fall under the Third Party (or “Pen Register”)… Read more »


“Truly, LEOs only control the “knock” portion. The person behind the door controls the “talk” portion.”

Well said and worth remembering just as you wrote it when checks, etc are attempted.

@AJ My argument isn’t that there is legal precident, but just taking the justice’s comments on various privacy issues as an indication of how things could go if the proper challenge is made. I also am not trying to say anything is wrong with any government or private recording at locations. My argument is that the gathering, storage, and cross referencing of recording using unique identifiers such as license plates and facial recognition will cross the line. At that point, the government can ascertain through times and locations what your religious and political affiliations are and everyone you associate with… Read more »

Chris f:

Just want to point out that they are not the “government’s roads”. You and I own them. We have a say on everything about them.

Total aside, but, I’ve heard that private companies have been allowed to run toll roads for governments and make a profit on it. And I’ve heard that people outside of the U.S. have ownership in it. THAT seems like complete nonsense to me and something we should not allow. We would be paying some rich person in China to be allowed to drive on a road across the street from us.

@Chris f: “As far as registration checks go, if you tell police that they are not welcome to come to your home to conduct these, then you revoke the implied welcome mat that the justices say exist and knock and talk shouldnt apply.” —– In some previous readings I did about 4th Amdt. violations, this appears not to be the case. While you can perhaps bar the individuals from returning, you cannot bar the entity. IOW, you could tell Ofcs. Hugh Fitzpatrick, Patrick Fitzhugh, and Dick Fitzwell they’re barred from your property, but that does not stop all of the… Read more »

@AJ, that is how I see it too. As objectionable as this kind of surveillance is, especially when data is aggregated from multiple sources to form a more comprehensive picture of an individual’s travels and activities in public, it does not constitute “tracking” in the sense that a GPS monitor does. Maybe using drones to follow someone about without a warrant might be viewed as a 4th amendment violation, since it is not just a plain view passive surveillance. Covertly videoing someone on their private property without a warrant has been found to be a 4th amendment violation. One example… Read more »

“That’s just the cost-justifying, back-patting, fear-mongering theater we’ve all seen before.” Yep, although of course no one should be surprised that there are some law enforcement criminals who actually think that it is useful to watch Registered People. We all need to work to try to limit the budgets and other resources of law enforcement. When they can worry about RPs, they ALWAYS have too much money, time, and other resources on their hands. We should take it. Get involved with local groups that watch their budgets and beat them up. They desperately need oversight anyway. Not enough people do… Read more »

@CR: Are you referring to US v Vargas in the 7th CCoA, or some other case? URL, please. As an aside, Gov’t. use of thermal imaging on someone’s residence to observe what’s going on or who’s inside IS a 4th Amdt. violation. Beyond that, your statement of the plain-view exception is spot on. Plain view is always okay for LEOs, whether it’s peeking into your car windows while operating or parked on public roadways or spaces, watching you in public, seeing something laying (or growing!) on your property, or noticing something while executing a search warrant for something else. (Plain… Read more »

@Will Allen:
“Most law enforcement are just organized criminal operations.”
You mean like this?

@AJ, sorry. No, the case is CR-13-6025-EFS, US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The judge ruled that covert surveillance of Vargas’ front yard using a camera that sent continuous WIFI images to the police for six weeks without a warrant violated the 4th amendment. The government initially appealed the ruling to the 9th circuit, but they dropped their appeal and the criminal charges against Vargas shortly afterwards, so the 9th never considered it. (see discussion of curtilage here) related: Another one (SD Supreme Court) with elements similar to Vargas: Perhaps this… Read more »

@AJ: Yep, just like that. I’ve also seen plenty myself firsthand. I had a law enforcement criminal (LEC) steal a very expensive piece of jewelry from me. The LECs often like to claim that things (e.g. cash, vehicles, etc.) have some nexus to some crime and thus try to justify their theft. But the jewelry had no nexus and no claim was made because the jewelry simply didn’t exist. It was just gone and 100% stolen by them for their personal gain. I know LECs are criminals. There is only one question about it and that is just how many… Read more »

@CR: Thanks for those goodies and gems. Only in the WA case does it appear there were sufficient privacy barriers to sway the court’s opinion. That seems to be the crux of the matter and it seems it has been, and will continue to be, decided on a case-by-case basis (which in all truth is for now probably the most prudent path). I do get a little bit of heartburn from the courts deciding that a utility pole is somewhere the general public can go. BS. If you or I were to do that w/o permission, we’d be nailed for… Read more »

It is the electronic/camera companies going to the school districts selling their products. Everything is free up front and once installed the district’s pay payments. Same for parking meters, and traffic signal light cameras at most all cities across the nation.

I don’t believe it’s the districts/city’s reaching out but the fear marketing platform by the companies.

Wonder why the cameras don’t pick up tags of people convicted of selling drugs to children, people driving a car in a school zone of which has been convicted of DUI several times, etc.

Sorry, “my bad”! That would not get you re-elected. Or maybe it is because there would be far less click-thrus on the news article.

Joe123 makes a good point-
Seems to be a lot more “teacher-student sex offenses” going on INSIDE of the schools than OUTSIDE.
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

Last year the school district in my town announced they had implemented the Raptor system at every school.

Every adult coming on campus would need to scan their ID before getting in. They stressed that it would only look for sex offenders and NOT immigration status. They pointed that out a few times.

But I guess drug dealers, murderers, muggers and others are ok.

Was this really such a big problem to justify the tens of thousands of dollars spent on it? Huge waste of resources.

This is only the beginning.. more insanity is coming. At what point do you draw the line and say: “ENOUGH!”

Pretty soon they’ll amend SORNA to require everyone with “access to a vehicle” to have GPS installed in all said vehicle(s) and have the data monitored by the local sheriffs’ office (all in the name of public safety). AND… guess who pays for it? You got it. Oh, and automatic FTR for non-compliance.

Don’t think they haven’t already thought of this!

As George Carlin said, we sure do got some dumb people in this country.

What’s the public going to do if they know an individual that’s identified a registrant and is at a school, call the police and create story that a “sex offender” is at a school and therefore has commit a crime?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x