License Plate Scanners Identifying Criminals In Seconds



By Nate Gnau

Staff Writer

Police Departments in St. Louis County are buying into a new technology to help make the streets safer. Several police departments have started using license plate scanners that are attached to police cruisers. The system rifles through records in seconds, matching license plates with any outstanding warrants. If the driver has a warrant, the system alerts the patrolman, who will then pull over the suspect vehicle. The system has the capability to read plates from any angle, and up to 50 yards away.

Police in Town & Country were the first local municipality to use the technology three years ago and now other departments in the County are following suit, seeing how the technology has led to an increase in outstanding warrant arrests.

Arizona State Patrol Officer David Callister said “Three years ago, all I had in my car was a radio to talk to a dispatcher, and I had to wait my turn, If I was lucky, I could run 10 vehicles a day,” he said. “Now, with the plate reader and my computer, I’ve had days when I’ve read over 8,000.”

The technology was originally developed to identify stolen vehicles, but it was begging to be more widely utilized, as the State of Arizona’s law enforcement officials soon found. In Arizona, the system has identified Amber Alert suspects, violent criminals, uninsured motorists, individuals with warrant records, and other offenders.

About LC Bridge

The Bridge is the student-run newspaper of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. We publish relevant, informative stories in a monthly print edition that focus on local events as well as global happenings. In addition, the online edition of The Bridge (thelcbridge) is updated frequently to reflect new information and more timely events.
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2 thoughts on “License Plate Scanners Identifying Criminals In Seconds

  1. From 10/day to over 8,000? Outstanding.

    UGH. I personally know a guy who was taken to jail just a few nights ago for non-payment of child support. The State of Illinois had reported him because rather than pay through garnishments, he paid via physical checks.

    Busted on the highway by one of these nifty license plate scanners.

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