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Bellevue Police Department installs license plate scanners at two intersections

Posted at 6:58 AM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 07:58:02-04

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — The Bellevue Police Department (BPD) has a new tool available to help solve cases.

License plate readers were installed at two of the city’s intersections—Fort Crook Road North at Chandler and 15th Street and Cornhusker.

They’ve been on BPD’s wish list for a while now. License plate readers in Nevada helped the Bellevue Police Department track down Adam Price in 2021, who was convicted of murdering his two children.

The new readers have already helped solve a robbery case the same day it occurred.

The readers are placed behind the stop lights at each intersection in every direction and will read around 60,000 plates a day.

However, the police department will have no access to personal information. It is simply a tool to give them leads to solve cases if it has the license plate information.

Captain Tom Dargy with the Bellevue Police Department says it will be very helpful in cases such as amber alerts, a missing family member with dementia, or if the person is wanted for a crime.

“We can look at that license plate information and put it in there, and if the vehicle happens to pass through one of these intersections, it will send a notice to us that at this point this vehicle went through,” Dargy said.

That notice comes through around 20 to 30 seconds after the plate travels through the intersection.

It can also help piece together cases with just some of the vehicle or plate information.

“When people see a stressful event, they may only remember certain bits and pieces of it. For instance, they know it’s a white car and know two letters on the license plate, but that’s all they remember,” Dargy said. “So that’s information we can go use if we know those two numbers, we can go look at that intersection at that date and time and see, ‘hey, did a white car go through here that maybe had the numbers two and four in it?’ Then we could compile a list from that.”

Dargy says only a few people are trained on the system and each time a plate is entered it must be documented as to why.

While all plates that travel through are read-only, the plates entered into the system as ‘wanted’ will give notice to the police. They will not be used to report driving violations.

BPD hopes to add mobile units for marked police vehicles by the fall.