The Buckhannon Police Department is now using license plate readers or LPRs on its daily patrols.
This technology has spread to police departments across the country, and there's been a lot stories of its success. Buckhannon Police got this equipment last month.
It will use this technology to check on plates that may lead officers to stolen vehicles or ones that are part of an amber alert.
"The license plate reader works off a scanning system. It has three cameras placed on the car and they scan license plates. They're fixed to the level where a license plate would normally be," said Gregory.
Chief Matt Gregory said when a plate is scanned, it's checked with a hot list provided by the West Virginia Intelligence Exchange to determine if that vehicle was used in any criminal activity.
"If it's a hit. If this number is in the database, if it's on the hot list, it will sound an alert, and give a reason why the plate has been entered in the database, if for instance the vehicle has been stolen or reported stolen," Gregory said.
Gregory said the LPR scans only the license plate number and runs its through the database of numbers. It doesn't reveal personal or private data. Gregory said a lot of agencies are using this technology, and he wanted his department to be of them.
"There's been a lot of success stories in the news as its associated with the usage of license plate readers. Everything from recovery of stolen vehicles to finding wanted persons who are in certain vehicles. Acquiring this technology just aides us in our patrol and investigation efforts and overall keeping the community safer," Gregory said.
The Fusion Center loaned the equipment to the police department on a trial basis.
Chief Matt Gregory said the LPR is currently assigned to one officer in the department.