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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Cool High-Tech Crime Fighter Pays Off - Lewisville, TX Tests Automated License Plate Scanner Merged with Wanted/Stolen Database

    High-Tech Crime Fighter Pays Off | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

    By SCOTT FRIEDMAN
    Updated 9:12 PM CDT, Mon, Jun 22, 2009


    A high-tech license plate scanner is starting to
    pay big dividends for the city of Lewisville.


    Officer Aaron Sherwood has a secret weapon on top of his car. It's a high-tech license plate scanner, that's starting to pay big dividends for the City of Lewisville.

    High-Tech Crime Fighter Pays Off
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    A high-tech license plate scanner is starting to pay big dividends for the city of Lewisville.

    The scanner automatically reads license plates of passing cars and checks them against a police database. In the first week the scanner was on board Sherwood's car, he estimates he cleared six hundred outstanding warrants, including warrants for people who owed the city money on unpaid fines.

    "You're able to pinpoint them without having to do as much of the digging," Sherwood said.

    In tight budget times, the expensive scanners may turn out to be a good investment. They cost about $25,000 a piece. Lewisville has installed them in three cars, using grant money and money from the city's municipal court system. The city is betting it may be able to haul in enough deadbeats on unpaid tickets, that the scanners will eventually pay for themselves.

    In one year, the plate scanners have also helped police recover 14 stolen cars, capture robbery suspects and hit-and-run suspects just by driving and scanning.
    Other North Texas cities, including Dallas, are also experimenting with the scanners.

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    In Lewisville, officers who use them said they wish they had one in every car.,
    "It is a very, very valuable tool," Sherwood said

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  2. #2
    Car 4's Avatar
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    I recently consulted with a VERY exclusive but non gated community near Lake Washington. They were getting killed with burgs. We set up a static survellience system on the only two roads in and out using one of these lic plate systems. The burgs went to zero overnight. They made the system permanent. These things work slicker than doper snot.

    They wouldn't have any crime at all but they refuse to background check their yard help.

    Car 4
    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I've been trying to get Texas DPS to give me just the database - We don't have a scanner, but in a 2-man unit, I can sure as heck type a lot of them in to run manual searches on my laptop, or perhaps even make my own automated system eventually, with a camera and character recognition software. I can write the user interface myself!

    However, DPS has some kind of agreement that they will ONLY give the database to users of automated systems like this - That sucks for small departments without any way to run plates in the car - We have to call Dispatch on each plate we run.

    I was arguing that the list of tag numbers without owner identifications shouldn't be Protected Information because there's no way to look up personal info from just a big long list of wanted/stolen tag numers - But they won't budge.

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    bayern is online now Officer First Class
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    richland County, SC has two of these units. The Sheriff stated that they would be used and call for a backup to make the arrests. No report on how it is working as yet.

  5. #5
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    I know Englewood, OH uses a system like this. I don't remember, however, if their system only runs plates for stolen, or if their also runs the names of who the car is registered to. They've had the system for a while though.
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  6. #6
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    tapout is offline keepin it gangsta'
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    we have one of these things and its a nightmare. i refuse to take it on the road.
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

  7. #7
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapout View Post
    we have one of these things and its a nightmare. i refuse to take it on the road.
    Wht's the problem with it? - Does it make errors when it reads the plates?

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  8. #8
    tapout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Wht's the problem with it? - Does it make errors when it reads the plates?
    no, it reads plates pretty well, and it photographs them, and works very quickly. but everything in that car is saved and later downloaded. you are held accountable for everything that car sees. if it hits on something at 2150 and you get off at 2200, you are staying late handling whatever it hit on. for instance, say you go out and hit on 10 stolen cars, and none are mobile. now you have 10 stolen auto recovered reports to write and get no arrest glory. you have no time to do anything else. then it hits on the registered owners...the other day it hit on a registered owner for a signal 91 (for same DOB), which is a terrorist watch list, the guy wasnt even in the car, but every time we get a hit for a signal 91 a confidential report must be written and delivered to intel detailing the event. its just a show. it creates a lot of extra work. its not practical for patrol. but if you have a unit that is not tied to the radio, or an auto theft unit, etc then yes, it can be a very handy tool.
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Yeah, I can see how the problem could multiply- I've rode with a Dallas officer when he did a felony stop because the owner reported the car stolen, then never told the police that a family member borrowed it...

    So like a month later, he does a traffic stop and it comes back stolen - Oh shirt! So five Dallas patrol cars surround the car, and do a felony take down of this teenage kid and his hysterical girlfriend at gunpoint - The girl was literally throwing up it scared her so bad.

    Then we found out from the kid's parents that another kid of theirs borrowed the car for a day or two without telling them, since it was a spare car - meantime they reported it stolen, and never told the police it was a false alarm.

    I guess if you multiply that type of thing by a factor of ten, you could spend all day making girls throw up on the side of the freeway

    Where I Reserve at, we also did a Felony stop on a car that Dispatch told us was stolen... Turns out, the hit was from another state's tag number that happened to be the same, not a Texas tag. I bet the plate scanner can't tell what state the tag is, since half the time the state is partially covered up by license plate frames.

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