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Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:52 AM EDT2013-05-22 15:52:19 GMT
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Albany Police have new crime fighting technology on the streets. Four police cars are now equipped with mobile license plate readers. The devices instantly check car tags and alert on those with violations.
If you are driving around Albany now with no insurance or a suspended drivers license, this equipment is going to catch you, sooner or later.
Albany Police Patrolman Joshua Brown downloads the computer for their new mobile license plate reader, and hits the streets with their newest crime fighting tool.
"There are so many people that already ride around with no license, no registration, no insurance. We don't get the chance to see all of them. This is going to pick up any and everyone of them," Brown said.
The special cameras see cars to the back and side of the police car, and can scan up to 18 hundred plates a minute. The computer runs the plate through what police call a hot list, instantly checking Georgia and National Crime Information Center and Georgia Department of Revenue data bases for violations. There is no doubt when it's finds a violator.\
Lights come on and a tone sounds. Mobile License Plate Reader says "Suspended or revoked registration. " Officer Brown radios HQ: "3-31, black Chevrolet Silverado. Tag number BMF. Southbound, suspended."
Brown was able to double check the violation on the computer, and found that the driver had already resolved the issue and did not stop him. Just that quickly.
But today other drivers found out the plate readers really work, pulling this driver over with no insurance.
"A tool that further assists officers at this point with their normal patrolling," said Albany Police Media Manager Phyllis Banks. "So it's not going to be out of the realm of anything they would not normally do. It's an extra tool to assist them doing it."
Equipping the four patrol cars costs 90 thousand dollars, paid for in the latest SPLOST tax funding. Chief John Proctor says it's proven technology that will help fight crime. "We feel this will give the officers an opportunity to engage those folks. Use and develop probable cause to interact and go further."
And those plate readers remember the tag numbers it spots, and where it was.
"Next week that tags associated with a burglary or an armed robbery. We can search the data base and pull up the map and try to get a general location of where he is normally at, so we can search that area for the vehicle," Brown said.
Now police officers can park on roads, and fill out their reports, and the license plate reader will still be working, checking out the cars driving by.
ICE uses this same type of technology on the border to check cars coming into and going out of the country.