Licence plate readers installed on police vehicles
Two campus patrol cars have been equipped with new license plate reading technology. These devices automatically scan the license plates of passing vehicles, providing information to the officer on duty without having to run plates manually.
According to Crime Prevention Manager Sergeant Patrick Ammon, the new readers will simply make it easier for police to get information about vehicles on campus.
“They will basically provide us with the same information that we would get by running a license plate with the benefit that the device runs plate after plate after plate,” Ammon said. “It will tell us if the registered owner has warrants for their arrest, if their license is suspended, and things of that nature.”
Many students remain unaware of these new devices, and their reactions upon being informed have been mixed.
Undergraduate biological sciences major Lindsey Millsaps was surprised and weighed the issue.
“That’s kind of cool, but at the same time I know that a lot of people are kind of antsy about privacy lately, especially when the police are involved,” Millsaps said. “It has advantages and disadvantages”
Communication Studies major Shelby Eversole was less concerned about privacy.
“I guess if you have nothing to hide, why be scared?” Eversole said.
According to Ammon, there is no real privacy issue with the new technology.
“They just give us what we could get anyway at a faster speed,” Ammon said.
The devices were purchased with a Department of Homeland Security grant that was awarded for participation in their program.