In Pooler, Georgia, the Pooler Police Department isn't one of the larger agencies in the state, but recently, the department became one of most technologically advanced. According to NBC affiliate WSAV, while the department remains on the smaller side, police executives can equip their officers more easily since the head count is so low.
This let the PPD invest in new license plate readers, which, according to the source, is a new technology the Metro Police aren't even equipped with yet. The PPD witnesses more than 70,000 cars come through the city from the interstate and about 18,000 on Pooler Parkway.
The town is certainly not getting any smaller so the police department turned to new crime control technology and invested in a device that would allow them to be proactive in fighting crime.
"The beeping you hear and the scrolls of the pictures on the screen - this is every vehicle that we're passing by or that's passing by us," explained Officer Kaylah Jamison of the PPD and specialist with the new equipment, according to WSAV. "The software that we use generates a 'hot list' which is basically an excel spreadsheet - the excel spreadsheet will show everything from stolen cars, stolen tags, vehicle used in the commission of a crime - even amber alerts, missing persons, persons with warrants."
Technology brings efficiency
Police officers are able to view the altered list each day and cross reference license plates that are being read by the device, the source reported. Jamison explained that the new technology can read 1,800 to 3,600 tags a minute, which will send an alert to an officer if there's a match.
Officers are able to receive alerts while in the field, giving them detailed information on which direction the suspect is going, a picture of the vehicle and a picture of their tag, the source reported. There are cameras set up on both sides of the lane so officers can track anyone from each direction or lane.
With the new technology, some residents are skeptical about the constant searching and worry about their privacy. However, according to WSAV, Jamison explained that the system is not to prey on drivers with expired tags, but rather search for stolen cars, tags or for cars used in a crime.
"This is to help find illegal activity. It helps find missing or endangered people, enhances the Amber Alert and this is just the beginning for this kind of technology," Lt. Jim Ward said, according to CBS affiliate WTOC.