LYNN HAVEN Fla. (WMBB) — The Lynn Haven Police Department has added a new investigative tool to its force.
The device is a combination of a speed and license plate reader and the agency has made more than 20 arrests with this new technology.
The License Plate Recognition Camera is a new investigative tool Lynn Haven police officers are utilizing to rapidly read cars passing through the area.
“We made a decision because our radar cart got destroyed in Hurricane Michael, and we had not replaced it,” said Lynn Haven Police Chief Rickie Ramie.
The police department can deploy this new camera system into any area for surveillance, and the officers can use a filter system to track plates the camera picks up.
“Right now we are set on all criminal traffic infractions, stolen tags, wanted persons, stolen vehicles,” said Chief Ramie. “So if you travel past us, by this, or if you go by it. It will alert us in the city of Lynn Haven that you are in the area.”
Officers are already putting this LPR camera to use. During their two week trial period, they made more than 20 arrests, the majority of those were people driving with revoked or suspended licenses.
“I actually made an arrest on an aggravated child abuse suspect that traveled this road every day going to work. And he was wanted right out of Washington County,” said Chief Ramie.
The LPR camera captured the suspect’s plate and within seconds, Chief Ramie received an alert.
“The warrant was active, but he had been on the run for almost three months,” said Chief Ramie.
He said there are hundreds of these cameras all across the state, and they all report to the same database.
While officers are using this new tool to make arrests, Chief Ramie said they will not use it to catch drivers speeding and write tickets.
“That is not our intention,” said Chief Ramie.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office also recently purchased a license plate recognition camera but their unit is not up and running yet.