License Plate Reader technology helping solve crimes

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The Wichita Police Department credits the License Plate Reader technology for helping solve crimes in the community.

"The technology has been incredibly helpful," said Lt. Casey Slaughter, Wichita Police.

In 2018, the LPR alerts resulted in recovering $347,905 in stolen property and 35 stolen cars. 

In 2017, when they had two LPRs, $97,354 in property was recovered and 11 stolen were recovered.

"We've used this technology to help us solve crimes in the back end, whether it be shootings or homicides," said Slaughter.

On Sunday, the LPR alerted an officer that a White BMW X5 was a stolen vehicle. The car was reported stolen from a northeast Wichita house on April 29th. 

The three-camera LPR system comprises of two forward facing cameras and a rear facing one. The software can instantly run tag numbers against a "Hot List" of cars wanted in connection to Amber Alerts and homicides, as well as stolen cars and tags.

Once the system alerts the officer of a car on the "Hot List," the officer must verify information through traditional means.

"This is just kind of saying, 'Hey, it might be good if you check the normal way.' They have to run this through S.P.I.D.E.R. (Special Police Information Data Entry and Retrieval), dispatch, or through their computer aided dispatch," said Slaughter.

There are currently five mobile LPRs. Each bureau has one unit, as well as one unit for investigations. The unit costs about $19,000. 

The department hopes to get another mobile LPR through a federal grant.

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