Gwinnett police have success with license plate readers

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None — Gwinnett County police credit new license plate readers with helping them to arrest 50 people in just one month.

Channel 2 Action News first reported that the county added the readers to four police vehicles in June on a trial basis.

Officers with the plate readers park at busy intersections and interstate on-ramps where the camera system can scan up to 1,800 tags per minute. In November alone, the devices scanned 318,000 plates.

"If the registered owner of a vehicle has a warrant the computer will notify the officer inside the car when the tag is run," Cpl. Jake Smith told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

The license plate readers were issued to the county's three busiest precincts and the Highway Interdiction Team.

Smith said last month the readers located four stolen vehicles and 55 people wanted by police. He said officers issued eight felony charges during various traffic stops.

"Those are stops that would not have been made otherwise. They were simply due to the presence of those license plate readers on our vehicles," he said.

Officers have also made drug arrests and seizures as well as issued hundreds of traffic related citations. Smith said the devices can run tags from any state, Mexico, and Canada.

Smith said because the readers have been so successful, it's likely they will be getting more.