Police use high-tech scanners to nab lawbreakers

Posted: Updated:

Several local police departments are harnessing sophisticated, $20,000 License Plate Readers to fight crime on the roads.

The Town of Chester obtained a license plate scanner a month ago. The device consists of two cameras mounted on the police cruiser, which scan the license plates of every passing car.

The cameras connect to a laptop, and if the device detects a stolen car, stolen plate or suspended registration, an alarm sounds.

?Stolen vehicles can be riding by you and you're not going be alerted to it,? says Chester Police Department Chief Brian Jarvis. ?With this, you're automatically alerted to it and it's really a big help.?

During its first month in Chester, the scanner helped make 24 arrests mainly linked to suspended registrations.

The scanner can also be programmed to detect registered sex offenders who are found too close to a park or school, or people with restraining orders who are violating court orders.

Besides Chester, Newburgh, New Windsor and Monroe police departments were also equipped with the license plate scanners, and they report similar success.

More police departments throughout New York State are expected to receive the scanners in the future. A state grant covers the cost of the device.

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