Imagine getting lost on a road and pulling into a random town to ask for directions. But the moment you pull in you’re instantly pulled over by police officers for a crime you committed years ago, or just because someone with whom you had an altercation years ago lives there; either way, you didn’t do anything wrong. How can this be possible?
In the affluent town of Kings Point, N.Y., this might not only be possible, but will most likely be reality as the town is looking to install license plate scanning cameras to run background checks on anyone entering the town.
“It will alert us to suspended registrations, felonies, stolen cars, order of protection, sex offenders, things like that,” Kings Point Police Commissioner Jack Miller said.
Sound a little too invasive? Well, the residents don’t seem to think so and and are not only looking forward to this, but are actually the ones funding this $1 million project. With the average house costing about $2 million dollars, and the recent spree of home invasion and burglary crimes, the town people are very happy with this approach:
“It doesn’t bother me. I have nothing to hide,” resident Nancy Roth said.
Another resident, Nahal Zelouf, added, “I think it’s an absolutely wonderful idea and they should [do it].”
But what about the random people that will be getting interrogated by police officers without doing anything wrong besides driving into an extremely high-security town? Is it really fair to stop and question every person that is driving by based on something they did years, if not decades ago?
“Giving up our liberty and our privacy in the name of security doesn’t always make us safer,” said Samantha Fredrickson of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
There are two main viewpoints to this story: one is that residents will be safer and deserve to feel safe in their hometown, but the other side of the argument is that this will be an invasion of privacy for anyone driving through the town, even if they have no intention of ever pulling over and are just passing by.
What do you think? Should this background check be allowed? Or is it an invasion of privacy?