At its meeting last Monday, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the sheriff department’s use of funds from its asset forfeiture account to purchase five additional electronic mobile license plate readers.
According to Douglas County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Stan Copeland, the department will use $102,425 from that account for the purchase.
“Using these funds means there is no department budget or taxpayer’s money involved whatsoever,” he said. “It comes strictly from seized funds.”
Copeland said the new automated license plate readers will be placed on the department’s uniform patrol division cars, which will be in addition to the seven tag readers already on its specialty unit cars, including its Felony Interception Narcotics Detection units, and its traffic safety units.
Mounted on the front and back of a uniform patrol division car, these mobile tag readers are capable of reading hundreds of motorized vehicle tags per minute, either approaching or in front of the patrol car, Copeland said.
“The deputy does not have to be directly behind the car for the license plate numbers to be read,” he said.
Then, after reading the tag, the system automatically runs the numbers through the National Crime Information Center data base and Georgia Crime Information Center data base to see if the tag, or the car it is on, has been reported stolen, being operated illegally or is entered into the database for some other reason, Copeland said.
“If the license plate is identified on the data base, the deputy will be alerted that there is some problem with the tag or the vehicle, and the deputy can use the information to make a stop and investigate,” he said