Monday, December 19, 2011

License Plate Readers Come To South Carolina

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has a new-crime fighting tool.
The office recently outfitted two patrol cars with automatic license tag readers.
Deputies said the tag readers capture thousands of tag images daily with their high-speed cameras and instantly compare the tag with the “hot” list in the cars’ onboard computers.
They said the “hot” list is automatically updated twice daily from SLED, DMV and FBI files on stolen cars, stolen and suspended license tags, AMBER alerts or wanted vehicles and other information related to wanted persons associated with a particular license tag.
Sheriff David Stone said, “This is amazing technology that only a handful of law enforcement agencies in South Carolina presently have. In the two weeks these units have been active, our officers have recovered dozens of suspended or stolen tags resulting in numerous citations with two subsequent arrests. Many of the citations were for no insurance. Although all of our patrol cars have onboard computers with instant access to SLED and DMV files, having wanted records checked automatically will make patrol officers more efficient and effective.”
The Sheriff's Office acquired these units with approximately $26,000 of federal grant funds.
Stone said, "This is all part of an ongoing effort to add technology that will improve the efficiency and safety of our officers and at the same time do it cost effectively using Federal dollars, saving local tax payers the burden. Common sense and sound law enforcement investigative techniques haven't changed, but ways to access information have."

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