License plate reader an important tool for local police - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

License plate reader an important tool for local police


After a month of testing, the Sioux City police department is ready to roll out its new automatic license plate reader.

Whether the patrol car is moving through traffic or parked and running radar, the optical character readers mounted on top of the patrol car can catch criminals in an instant.

With each hit, a picture of the car and other important information pops up on the officer's screen.

It's big improvement from they way license plates were read in the past.

"We didn't have technology like this before.  An officer would physically have to be looking for license plates. Basically be close enough and be behind cars primarily or if you can watch cars coming at you it's pretty difficult to catch a plate as it's driving by," said Sioux City Police Captain Marti Reilly.         

So far, the reader has turned up mostly expired plates, but can also be used in cases involving stolen vehicles, warrants, and even amber alerts.


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