Police car cameras to automatically read license plates - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police car cameras to automatically read license plates

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The first Memphis police cruiser equipped with a high-tech license plate reader rolled into service this weekend.

The numbers and letters on your license plate offer a wealth of information to police.  The Automated License Plate Reader, or ALPR camera, makes it possible for officers to quickly gather that information.

Unveiled during a news conference Monday afternoon, the high-tech device looks like a spotlight, but it's used to "shed light" on drivers by instantaneously scanning their car tags and downloading information onto a computer screen.

"You might be in violation of parole, wanted, or you might be driving on a suspended or revoked license," Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said.

Different noises made by the system indicate different violations, active warrants, locations of sex offenders, and more.

"If there was a male driving it, you might want to check it out if it's next to a school or day-care or something," said John Harvey of the MPD Crime Analysis Unit.

The cameras can be configured from inside the car or by remote control from the city's Real Time Crime Center.

"The fact that we have this kind of technology to use is just tremendous," Godwin said.

Sixty-five squad cars should be equipped with the cameras by the end of the year.  The system costs nearly $17,000 per car.

Powered by Frankly