‘It is a very invaluable instrument:’ License plate readers serving to WV police ID automobiles which have been flagged for suspicious or felony exercise. | Information

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CLARKSBURG — License plate readers getting used all through the state are serving to police businesses find lacking individuals and catch criminals.

“They’re invaluable with info for us,” stated Anmoore Police Chief Don Quinn. “Anmoore is simply too small to offer the monetary obligation for one thing like that proper now, however I’d like to see extra license plate readers to maintain the general public protected. There’s an entire myriad of conditions and circumstances the place they turn out to be very, very invaluable.”

Two license plate readers have been put in on the U.S. 50/Interstate 79 intersection by a joint effort among the many metropolis of Clarksburg, the town of Bridgeport, the West Virginia Division of Highways and the Harrison County Fee, together with a $200,000 grant obtained by the state Division of Homeland Safety.

The 2 readers are the primary roadside models within the county, based on Harrison-Taylor 911 Director Paul Bump.

Harrison Chief Deputy Scott Lattea stated the Sheriff’s Division receives alerts from the readers nearly day by day about automobiles which have been reported stolen or linked to crimes.

“It could possibly be about stolen automobiles to one thing comparable to an Amber Alert (a nationwide message making the general public conscious of kidnapped kids) or a Silver Alert (a nationwide message about lacking senior residents with Alzheimer’s illness, dementia or different psychological disabilities),” Lattea stated. “It’s a vital instrument and could be very useful.”

For instance, a license plate reader led to the arrest of a number of individuals in West Milford wished in reference to an armed carjacking within the Columbus, Ohio, space.

At present, info from license plate readers is communicated through radio dispatch. However officers hope to quickly have the know-how to ship the knowledge on to computer systems in police cruisers.

“It shouldn’t take too lengthy till we’re in a position to. We simply don’t have that functionality but,” Lattea stated.

The Sheriff’s Division additionally want to get license plate readers for cruisers.

“We’d prefer to get some extra of the automotive readers so we are able to detect the license plates because the automobiles go by an officer’s automotive, so the officer would be capable to know instantly if the automotive was stolen or is a wished automobile. However they’re fairly pricey, so we’re taking a look at some grant funding,” he stated.

Some West Virginia State Police have already got license plate readers on their cruisers.

“If a regulation enforcement automobile has the know-how, a automobile could possibly be passing it left and proper, and its machine could possibly be gathering the identical info,” Harrison-Taylor 911 Deputy Chief Jim Copenhaver stated. “If there may be something within the databases for the license plate that simply handed them, then they’re off and operating.”

The Harrison-Taylor 911 Heart additionally want to get an improve to its tools to higher deal with info from license plate readers, Bump stated.

“We get 1000’s of reads a day, and we want to ensure we don’t get inundated with knowledge that retains us tied up that isn’t actionable,” Bump stated. “We wish to have the ability to dispatch an officer straight away, but additionally ensure that we’re not tying individuals up.

“The readers can’t differentiate states, so if a quantity matches any certainly one of 50 states, it throws up a flag.”

License plate readers are additionally situated alongside Interstate 79 in Lewis County at Exit 99 and in Monongalia County simply earlier than the Pennsylvania state line. There are additionally a number of different readers all through the state, based on Copenhaver.

Employees Author Jonathan Weaver could be reached at (304) 626-1446 or jweaver@theet.com. Comply with me on Twitter @jweaver_theet

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