Boone County, Jefferson City work on deal over license plate readers

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - Deputies say a new proposal between the Boone County Sheriff's Department and Jefferson City Police Department may make investigations easier.

The new agreement would allow the two agencies to share photos taken by license plate readers, or LPR, on its cars, said Captain Chad Martin of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

The Boone County Commission must approve the agreement. It will vote on it next Monday at 9:30 a.m.

Right now, the sheriff's department stores photos taken on a server at the department headquarters. Martin says Jefferson City police will soon be using the technology. The proposal would let each agency search through the others' stored photos for criminal investigations.

You can read the agreement the sheriff's department has with Columbia Police on page 24.

The sheriff's department has agreements already with the Columbia Police Department, MUPD and the Missouri State Highway patrol. In those agreements, the agencies can only use the stored photos for "legitimate, law-enforcement activities." The groups cannot give the photos to any third party.

Deputy Rox-Anne Robison says the LPR on her patrol car is like a few extra sets of eyes. The cameras, placed on the back of her car, scan and record each license plate it passes on the road. Cars reported stolen or registered to people with criminal warrants are added to the system's "hot list." When the camera scans a plate on the list, it alerts the deputy on the car's computer.

Robison says the LPR can only scan about 10 feet. At least six Boone County patrol cars have LPR technology.

The Jefferson City Police Department did not return ABC 17 News' calls Thursday.

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