TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – While all police cars have a camera on the dashboard, one Maumee squad car has an added feature.
The MPH 900 is a Mobile License Plate Hunter made up of two cameras mounted on the back of a cruiser with a computer screen in the vehicle. It scans the license plates of any car that passes by, is passed by, or comes toward the vehicle. It also scans parked cars.
The device analyzes numbers and letters and connects them with a crime database.
Maumee Patrolman Rob York loves the new technology:
"It will tell us we have a hit and it depends on what the hit is, it could be a wanted person, it could be a stolen car, and there is an audible voice that comes over and it will say wanted person wanted person wanted person."
If the officer passes your car and it's clean, the image of your plate is thrown out in thirty days. On the other hand, if it detects something wrong, it will verify it with dispatch, and the officer will pull the driver over.
The device was obtained through a grant this summer, and it has already helped to take down a woman for a violent felony. Officer York detected her vehicle in a lot off of Conant St. and arrested her by Cornerstone Church.
York has said that he takes more than 900 pictures during some shifts.
For those who feel that the technology is to reminiscent of Big Brother, York says that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear:
"It doesn't care if you are white, it doesn't care if you are black, you are Indian or Asian. It doesn't care if you have a souped up race car, or if you have just a normal vehicle. It doesn't care."
The department and the technology are featured in the December issue of Car and Driver Magazine. The Toledo Police Department has 6 cruisers equipped with the system.
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