Today I had the opportunity to be sworn in as the newest member of Utah’s House of Representatives. As part of the swearing in, I took an oath to defend and uphold both the United States and Utah Constitutions and to do so with fidelity. This is an oath I take seriously. I have studied both these documents and believe them to be divinely inspired.
It was wonderful to meet some of the great men and women who serve on Utah’s Capitol Hill. I look forward to working with them in the coming months.
I have been assigned to two committees during the interim, the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee, and the Political Subdivision Interim Committee.
In the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee (click here to listen to the audio), Sheriff Noel from Beaver County approached the committee seeking permission to place automatic license plate reading cameras along I-15 in Beaver and Washington Counties. These cameras would be used to help capture drug traffickers, violent criminals, and kidnappers.
While this is a noble goal, we need to ask what could be the unintended consequences of using these cameras? Sheriff Noel said that his agency would only use them to capture known criminals. I have no reason to doubt his intentions. However, these cameras capture the license plate number of every vehicle that passes them and that data is stored in a national database for two years. What’s to say other entities won’t use this data against law-abiding citizens?
Perhaps the most revealing piece of information to come from this hearing is that these types of cameras are already being used in law enforcement in Utah. I am concerned that these powerful tools are being used without much public dialogue.
Let me know what you think about it. Please comment below or send me an email by clicking here.