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9 of 10 license plate-reading cameras online in Greensboro; police looking to add more on patrols

Piedmont Triad News

(GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — In an attempt to put more eyes on the streets of Greensboro, the city police department has installed nine of its 10 license plate-reading cameras, with the 10th one expected to be operational within the next few weeks.

The cameras snap single still-shots of license plates and vehicles as they drive by.

They have been placed in areas where Greensboro police have been called the most over the past three years.

That includes areas in and around Gate City Boulevard, Market Street, Spring Garden Street, and around the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive area.

The cameras’ software is owned by the company Flock Safety, which has placed similar cameras in and around other parts of Greensboro and the Triad, at the request of law enforcement and local homeowners associations.

The cameras have been used to track vehicles connected to violent crimes, abductions, vandalisms, or vehicles that are stolen.

Capt. James Golden oversees the patrol division and said officers have access to the software in their patrol units and will be alerted if a “targeted” vehicle passes one of their camera locations.

“They’ll keep it running all throughout their shift, and that way they can get an alert,” he said.

The addition of the cameras will also make it easier to track suspected stolen vehicles or vehicles linked to crimes if they were to go into another city or county.

But, only if Flock Safety cameras have been installed there.

“We develop access and share that information, that stolen vehicle, every agency in there can leak certain information. It multiplies your investigative abilities,” Golden said.

While the cameras systems are still new, Greensboro police are on track to install similar license plate-reading cameras in more than 100 of their patrol units.

This will allow officers to take photos of license plates to see if the vehicles have been suspected of being connected to another crime.

Those installments won’t happen until February or March 2022.

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