BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Metro council earlier this week accepted a federal grant to provide three electronic license plate scanners to Baton Rouge Police.
The scanners read individual plates as they pass marked units and match them against data from a national data base. Vehicles that are "flagged" can be stolen or have been used in another crime.
"As they ride by the cameras that are on the car automatically start scanning plates as the vehicles are passing by," says Cpl. L'Jean McNealy of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
McNealy says the program has been in use with BRPD for the past two years with some success. "I think we have a total of 41 stolen vehicles that we've stopped along with 50-something plates that we've recovered. So the more we have on the street, the more eyes that are out there. It allows us to find these vehicles," says McNealy.
Critics like the American Civil Liberties Union say the License scan program is ripe for misuse and abuse. They point to a study that shows of one million cars scanned in Maryland only 47 were flagged. That's a 0.005 percent success rate.
No word yet when the additional three units will be installed.