More criminals will be off the streets thanks to new technology - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

More criminals will be off the streets thanks to new technology

Steven Hedley, Fields Operations Manager for ELSAG North America Steven Hedley, Fields Operations Manager for ELSAG North America

Maxine Ridling
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX - If a child were ever kidnapped in our area, the Amarillo Police Department may soon be able to find them in a matter of seconds...without even looking for the suspect.

It's simple, just by driving down the street, local officers will soon be able to identify a crime in progress.

"Whether it's parked whether it's moving the point of the product is to go, look at that car," said Steven Hedley, Fields Operations Manager for ELSAG North America.

In just 60 seconds, the cameras on the front of the patrol car can read nearly 900 license plates, giving the officer more than the eye can see.

"It's amber alerts, it's kidnapping it's Levi's calls, it's warrants, it's stolen license plates, stolen vehicles wanted people etc., " says Hedley.

So far this year, 746 cars have been reported stolen and how local officers look for the criminals now isn't cutting it.

"We talk about no texting and driving and we expect our officers to try and run a tag number on their keyboard to see if a vehicle is stolen," Cpl. Jerry Neufeld says, "While they need to pay attention to the road."

But this new device is expected to change that.

"Number one their keeping their eyes on the road ya know their not stopping and looking," Hedley said.

With each unit costing roughly $18,000.00 , The APD is looking into only having one license plate reader on the streets.

"It can be a great tool when you look at hundreds of stolen vehicles in Amarillo in a years time now if we could get a few more of these suspects off the streets and locked up it could really cut down on our auto thefts," said Nuefeld.

The reader will also be able to detect expired registrations and non insured drivers. Other counties and police departments in our area are also looking into this device.

 

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