PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – These days, cameras are everywhere. They’ve been used inside police cruisers for years, but the newest ones are mounted outside.
It’s called the Automated License Plate Reader System and several local departments are using them.
Castle Shannon Police just purchased their first unit, at a cost of $15,000. Many others acquired theirs with grant money.
Three cameras mounted on the roof of a law enforcement vehicle can capture license plates of cars coming, going, even cars parked on the side of the street.
The computer instantly records the numbers and compares them to a database through a processor in the trunk, making it easier to track down stolen vehicles, violent criminals and even abducted children.
Castle Shannon Police Chief Ken Truver told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “Especially in an agency our size where we might have only two or three police officers out in the field at a time, this is just one more force multiplier, an extra set of eyes.”
As far as privacy for ordinary citizens, the chief said unless you’re a criminal, you don’t have to worry.
“They’re already restricted by law. There are administrative sanctions, criminal sanctions, if they do anything with the information they’re not supposed to, so those safeguards are already in place,” Chief Truver said.