Part 2: License plate readers, body cameras used in police work

Local - 4/30/2014 5:18 PM by Karen Franklin

OAK HILL - Every day is not the same for law enforcement. Officers believe domestic violence calls and traffic stops have the potential to be the most dangerous and unpredictable.

"You never know what kind of situation you're walking into, how people are, what kind of mind frame they're in,what they may have already done prior to you stopping them," Cpl. Bill Gritt told WOAY.

Police work closely with 911 dispatchers to aid in uncertainty. They also have the help of a license plate recognition system, which automatically reads plates and alerts to any inconsistencies. 

"That puts holes in people's allibis," Lt. Mark Larkin said. "This guy will say, 'Well, I was in Florida, or I was down in Beckley visiting relatives.' We're able to say, 'No, you passed this LPR at 0100 hours, and the crime was committed,' so it's a big tool in crime fighting."

The plate readers also function on stationary cameras throughout Route-19. Mount Hope police officers are currently demo-ing body cameras with audio, visual and night vision capabilities.

"There's allegations against officers all the time," Mount Hope Police Chief Tom Peal said. "Sexual, verbally abusive, people threatening. This gives us the ability to monitor the person. Also for the officers -- I can pull them up and see how they treat people when they're on the traffic stop or just dealing with the public."

Some can't imagine working without them, but nothing beats old-fashioned tools like watching and listening.

"It takes somebody just a little bit inquisitive when you're talking to them," Sheriff Steve Kessler said. "Traffic stop and talk to them. The whole thing is talking to people, and you'll see what leads come from that."


Member Submitted