COLUMBIA, Mo. - Law enforcement in Boone County are crediting license plate readers for making three arrests in recent weeks.
The license plate readers, or LPRs, have helped Sheriff's deputies find a convicted felon, a murder suspect and a stolen vehicle all within the past month.
Supporters say the LPRs should not cause privacy concerns to ordinary citizens. Sgt. Brian Leer says the equipment only scans license plate numbers. That information is then run through a database and only if that number matches a wanted plate will it alert deputies.
"For example, the murder suspect that was apprehended a couple weeks ago out there on the interstate. That was just simply an LPR hit that said he was driving this vehicle," said Sgt. Leer.
That suspect, Bryan Brackbill, Jr., now faces murder charges in Pennsylvania.
Currently, six Boone County Sheriff's Department vehicles are outfitted with the readers. Last year alone, deputies ticketed 227 people for misdemeanors, made 191 arrests, found 24 stolen vehicles, and recovered more than $283,000 all by using LPRs.
Sgt. Leer said the readers are a crucial tool for crime prevention and also hold law enforcement more accountable.
"What we have seen is people are getting more thorough in their entries," he said.