System Can Scan License Plates, Talk to Officer
The Mesquite Police Department is the first in Texas to receive the PlateScan system, which uses cameras and computers to “remember” each license plate it witnesses as an officer patrols the streets or the parking-lot at an area mall.
In addition, the system records a color picture of the car, with the time, date, and location as configured by GPS satellites. It also checks every plate number against databases that contain stolen and wanted vehicles and registered sex offenders. When it receives a hit, a robotic voice informs the officer.
The program was launched on Feb. 28, and to date has cleared a minimum of four stolen cars, notes Mesquite police representative Lt. Steve Callarman.
In one situation, a man in a stolen car drove past a parked police car while the officer was making a call. When the officer came back to his car, he was informed by the system about the stolen vehicle, and it was found nearby.
It cost approximately $40,000 to outfit two police cars.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Dallas Morning News (04/15/07) P. 10B; Abshire, Richard.