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New squad cars with cameras will scan plates for stolen vehicles or missing people

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A new piece of technology will make it easier for Bismarck police officers to find stolen vehicles, missing people and runaways.

Whether you’re driving down the road, or parked in a city parking lot, when the squad car outfitted with the license plate reading technology passes by, a photo of your license plate will be run through a national database, scanning for a variety of crimes.

“These are the cameras; there are four in total,” said Alex Weiand, patrol officer with the Bismarck Police Department. The camera captures virtually 360 degrees of the vehicles surrounding.

“The only part that isn’t caught by the cameras is going to be directly in front of us, which we would have to run that plate manually,” said Weiand.

License plate numbers are fed into the National Crime Information Center; a database for stolen vehicles, missing people, runaways, and amber alerts.

“All officers normally have access to that database, but they have to run the plate manually,” said Deputy Chief Jason Stugelmeyer. “

This is the que of the history of all the plates that have ran, this is the characters that it came up with and this is going to be which camera took the picture,” said Weiand.

While on patrol, the system runs in the background.

“It will instantly alert the officer that there is a hit and therefore the officer can verify the information and take action right away,” said Stugelmeyer.

Deputy Chief Jason Stugelmeyer says the department saw a spike in motor vehicle thefts in 2018.

“It went down a little bit in 2019, but this will for sure help us recover some of those stolen motor vehicles,” said Stugelmeyer.

The vehicles, equipped with high tech cameras, will hit the road on Monday, and continue the search in a new way.

The database also has the ability to record coordinates of where your vehicle has been. Police can recall that information during investigations.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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