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October 7, 2022

AG: DeKalb License Plate Camera Locations Subject to FOIA –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 30, 2022

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –

Mr. Charvat submitted a FOIA request to the city of DeKalb requesting the locations of the License Plate Reader (“LPR”) cameras within the city.

DeKalb denied the request claiming camera locations were exempt under vulnerability assessments, security measures, and response policies pr plans designed to identify, prevent, or respond to potential attacks upon a community’s population or systems, etc… essentially claiming the LPR cameras were a “security measure.”

In response to the city, Charvat provided an Affidavit showing photos he took of some of the LPR cameras, information from the house floor debate on the specific FOIA exemption claimed by the city, the city’s purchase receipts for some of the cameras indicating where they would be installed, and other publicly available information.

The AG stated, in part, that: “the facts the City set forth do not establish the element of the LPR camera locations being designed to address potential attacks upon the City’s population or systems, facilities, or installations. Rather, the City demonstrated that the LPR camera placements are designed to identify vehicles that are involved in commonplace, smaller-scale criminal activity, such as theft. Thus, while the LPR cameras clearly have a security purpose related to routine law enforcement activities, the nature of that purpose falls outside the plain language of the section 7(1)(v) exemption.”

The AG’s office finished by stating the LPR camera locations were not exempted from disclosure un FOIA, and asked the city to provide the informati0on requested.

Read the AG’s determination here:

71393 f 71v improper mun_Redacted

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2 Comments
  • james m oconnor
    Posted at 13:15h, 01 July

    Mr. Charvet is correct about the cameras. Anybody with eyes can locate the cameras. I live in the City of Dekalb and me and my coworkers have located all of the cameras. Whoopi!
    The problem is the police chief told residents that they were license plate readers. Turns out that they are more. If the chief wants to put live feed cameras around the city to
    “thwart off terrorist attacks” then he should be open about it and put a stop to the James Bond behavior. Not a big fan of big brother style of government. Especially when government
    medaling is responsible for the rise of crime here in Dekalb. The question remains; do we want to live in an open air prison under the watchful eyes of big government.? I certainly don’t.
    Good luck to the chief

  • Greg G
    Posted at 17:38h, 03 July

    Anyone who pays attention to crime trends in DeKalb knows what part of town these cameras are in.. It’s the usual suspect areas.

    Same as any other town.

    Someone post the locations.

$