Indianapolis Police Experimenting With License Plate Scanners

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have deployed new technology for finding car thieves, motorists leaving the scene of a traffic accident, and other wanted persons: License plate scanning.

According to, the technology is a cruiser-mounted camera  that can take a picture of a license plate and then automatically run it through a crime database. The technology will then alert the officer in the patrol car if owner of the plate is wanted on an outstanding warrant or if a vehicle in question itself has been reported stolen. The technology apparently can scan multiple license plates in all directions for hits at the same time as the squad officer drives through an area.

So far, only five patrol cars have been outfitted with the expensive cameras but the officials hope to get federal funding for more. Each camera is mounted either on the bar that holds the overhead lights or on the trunk of the police car. The technology is already is in Cincinnati and Detroit.

The technology could also in some circumstances wind up cutting down on high-speed police chases, which can occur after hit-and-run highway accidents,  and which sometimes can unfortunately result in follow-up injuries to officers and other citizens.

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