FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Officers with the Fayetteville Police Department said technology has drastically improved the way it serves and protects the community.
Since utilizing License Plate Reader Cameras in February, Fayetteville police said the cameras have helped assist in 257 felony arrests, 115 misdemeanor arrests and 54 stolen cars through the month of June. Additionally, officers said the cameras also helped with seven cars and 14 guns seized as well as locate six missing people.
Officer Dean Riggott, who helped make the project come together, said the police department started to install the cameras back in November.
Riggott said there are 44 readers located in strategic areas that lead into and out of the city of Fayetteville. He also said the cameras help identify unknown offenders and suspect cars that may be traveling in the city.
Ultimately, he said the goal is to prevent crime.
“One of the most useful ways that this system has helped us is we are able to pair that license plate reading technology with our national databases that hold information for missing persons, your wanted persons, stolen vehicles and stolen plates,” Riggott said. “This system allows our officers to receive alerts when a bad person is in the area and gives them a location of where to try and intercept and apprehend them before they can harm our residents.”
Riggott said the cameras aren’t focusing on everyone, but specifically the information and tags in the database that are connected to a case.
Once the cameras make a connection, Riggott said an alert is sent to their officers instantly. Officers can then choose whether to respond.
Riggott said the technology has been monumental in many of their recent cases.
“I had an investigator come to me yesterday and tell me that they don’t solve crimes without LPR technology anymore,” he said.
Not only do cameras run 24 hours per day, seven days per week, but he said they help assist in areas that officers can’t always be at, such as during a pursuit. Riggott said that they may call off a pursuit for safety reasons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver got away.
The Raleigh Police Department also said it utilizes License Plate Readers that have helped with property and person crimes. It has become a valuable resource within the department and has helped assist officers with stolen cars, wanted subjects, as well as AMBER and Silver alerts to find missing people, the department said.
For Riggott, the officer said the technology has helped ensure that they’re doing the best to protect and serve their community.