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IMPD fights crime with license plate readers, depending on more than 200

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis police are stepping up to the plate to curb crime. License plate readers and technology upgrades will now help police investigate crimes.

IMPD says these license plate readers have proven to be useful in various calls including domestic violence, homicides as well as hit and run investigations.

“Week after week, we continue to see LPR technology used successfully by detectives throughout the department,” Matthew Thomas, Commander at IMPD, said.

More than 200 license plate readers are set to be up and running by the end of the week all across the city.

Stationary license plate readers will be on street poles and streetlights in every district. They’re deployed using district intelligence, data, and community input.

Mobile license plate readers will also be attached to marked police vehicles.

When asked about privacy rights, IMPD says they will only be looking at specific cases. “The photographs are continually being taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week and then stored on a server. In order for an investigator to access that data you need a criminal predicate, so you need a crime to have been committed to research that information,” Thomas said.

“These license plate readers will join an effort that is already lowering the rates of violence in our community,” Indianapolis mayor, Joe Hogsett, said.

According to IMPD, the technology also gives investigators a lead when a vehicle is used in a crime or a person is at risk.

For example, surveillance cameras were used to help track a suspect involved in the shooting of a Dutch soldier last month.

Shamar Duncan and his friends were found after police were able to locate a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle.

“We use a layered approach. Yes, license plate readers were very effective in that case and continue to be, but on top of that community collaboration and our public safety camera systems,” Thomas said.

IMPD expects to have a total of 244 license plate readers by early fall.