« Ind. Gov't. - "We shouldn't base Indiana energy policy on soothsaying designed to protect a monopoly." | Main | Ind. Decisions - "Indiana Court of Appeals upholds Evansville smoking ban" »

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Squad cars adding cameras, license plate readers"

Jeff Wiehe reports in the FWJG - some quotes:

FORT WAYNE – While on patrol at the state fairgrounds a few years ago, 1st Sgt. Brian Olehy of the Indiana State Police listened as continual dings sounded off in his squad car.

Every parked car or truck he passed created another alert: ding … ding … ding.

Mounted on the outside of Olehy’s car were cameras and sensors called automatic license plate readers, and each ding meant they had scanned the license plate of a vehicle he passed.

In turn, these readers stored that information in a database and then cross-checked it against a database of license plates belonging to reported stolen vehicles.

“They’re a very useful tool, specifically for stolen vehicles,” said Olehy, who added that the dings would’ve turned to a different sound if he had actually found a stolen vehicle.

Automatic license plate readers are becoming more and more popular with law enforcement agencies, and in May there will be a set of them deployed on two Fort Wayne police squad cars.

Law enforcement officials say they not only help in finding stolen vehicles but can also quickly find license plates registered to suspended drivers, those who owe money on parking tickets or those involved in an Amber Alert situation. * * *

But some critics say the plate readers can be abused and question what police are doing with the voluminous data the readers record daily.

The American Civil Liberties Union specifically questions whether police will use the readers to track law-abiding citizens who are going about their day, having their location recorded without their knowledge.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 17, 2013 06:02 PM
Posted to Indiana Government