Michigan State Police want to expand use of license plate readers

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 8:31 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State Police are using technology on freeways across the state to help solve crimes by capturing a photo of a person’s license plate.

Michigan State Police have cameras on freeways across Michigan reading license plates and sending information back to police. The information informs authorities if a license plate has a hit on it, meaning it has been entered into their system.

License plate readers aren’t used for speeding purposes, this use of technology focuses on serious crime like locating stolen vehicles, Amber Alerts, or finding missing persons.

If state police get a tip about a certain vehicle, the license plate information is fed into a system. When the suspect vehicle passes a reader on the highway, the police dispatch center will be notified. The notification helps track down the vehicles whereabouts.

Lieutenant Rene Gonzalez Michigan State Police explains “we can’t be everywhere. There could be a trooper on one end of the county and that license plate reader is picking up a vehicle that’s on the other side of the county. We can get over there get that vehicle stopped. Check on that person.”

Right now license plate readers are in a few different places across the state. Livingston, Monroe, and Jackson County are using this technology.

License plate readers are not being used in Lansing but Michigan State Police say they’ll eventually be everywhere. Certain city police departments are thinking about using license plate readers to better service their communities as well.

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