WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — We’re only three days into the new year, and safety is top of mind for Winston-Salem leaders.

City council members met and approved two new safety features at Tuesday night’s meeting.

They approved the placement of poles that will hold the new automated license plate readers. They also voted to add Live911 to the Real Time Crime Center.

“All of this technology will enhance the work of our police officers on the street as we have less officers available,” said Patrice Toney, the assistant city manager. “This really allows more eyes, more technology, more innovation to be allowed that actually creates safer communities.”

The Winston-Salem Police Department has more than 100 open positions. With fewer officers on the streets, city leaders are coming up with innovative ways to keep the city safe. 

Part of that innovation involves bringing 24 automated license plate readers to the city. There will be at least two in each ward.

The city council also approved a contract for Live911. Deputies in Forsyth County use this technology. Now, officers will have the ability to listen to calls in real time.

“A rapid response to crime is of the essence when crime occurs in our community…so this technology and innovation, it’s the new wave of the future,” Toney said.

There’s also a new safety measure at Winston-Salem City Hall. Visitors and employees have to go through a metal detector to enter the building.