EAST PALO ALTO (KCBS) _ The East Palo Alto Police Department is about to join other agencies in the Bay Area by adding a high tech tool to fight crime.

License plate readers will be mounted on two East Palo Alto police cars and will be able to scan as the cars move, gathering license plate data, up to 360 degrees.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“We hope to reduce our auto thefts, increase our recovery for stolen vehicles and also identify other vehicles that are associated with other crimes,” said East Palo Alto Police Captain Carl Estelle.

Estelle said the funding for the scanners comes from the Department of Justice.

“We won’t have them installed and put out onto the streets until we develop a policy first,” he said. “We have to make sure that we’re using this correctly. We want the public and the citizens to know we’re using this in the proper manner.”

One key question for privacy advocates is how long is the data stored? Several large city auto task forces already use the scanners, as does San Mateo County.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Dave says:

    “To fight crim?” HARDLY. It’s all about giving out more tickets EN MASSE. But the general population is too apathetic to call them out and vote the enablers out of office.

    1. Evad says:

      They don’t use the license plate readers to ticket people “en masse”. You are absolutely mistaken. Get the facts right before posting Dave.. Oh, and it’s spelled CRIME not CRIM..

  2. wayne says:

    they should just do like menlo park police and racial profile by pulling over for a front license plate that suddenly appears or the new profiling tool, your 3rd brake light is out. but when you check it it miraculously starts working again

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