$52 million contract for new Public Safety Complex receives $1 million addition

Knoxville City Council votes 7-2 to approve addition of Real Time Information Center to budget.
$52 million contract for new Public Safety Complex receives $1 million addition
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:25 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - In a meeting on March 21, Knoxville City Council approved an $1 million extension onto the upcoming Public Safety Complex set to open sometime this fall.

The 7-2 vote followed a lengthy debate as to what exactly the new Real Time Information Center will provide for the community. Members of the council raised concerns about potential privacy issues that may arise, however KPD Chief Paul Noel said it will be a tool used exclusively by law enforcement to help investigators generate leads and close cases after crimes occur.

When asked about how KPD planned to use these cameras, citing incidents in other cities where the wrong person was arrested after being “identified” on camera, Noel said, “an image alone will not meet the probable cause for an arrest.”

Noel also stated that the cameras will not be monitored 24/7, with the main goal of the RTIC is being a tool to help track people after they have committed a crime.

The RTIC will be the hub of a citywide camera system modeled off of similar systems around the country. Chief Noel said Tulsa, Ohio, Chattanooga, and New Orleans currently implement a similar system, of which they are drawing inspiration from.

Noel said KPD plans to start with around 15 cameras that will be owned and operated by the city, and that KPD will try to partner with private entities that would be willing to share their camera access with the center to supplement the public camera supply.

For more information about the RTIC, Knoxville City officials have created an FAQ page here.