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Monroe Police getting more license plate scanners

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Monroe Police is about to get more technology to help fight crime. On August 11, the city council gave the green light for the department to buy 15 more license plate readers. Police say the readers help officers find vehicles connected to criminal activity.

Monroe Police has four license plate readers located throughout the city but they are looking to buy up to 15 more. The police chief said they help officers solve crimes and be more efficient.

Officers are using every tool they have to make our communities a safer place to live. That’s why MPD is moving forward with its license plate reader program.

“It’s important for us cause we can actually solve crime. That’s one of the goals that I think everybody should have,” said Chief Victor Zordan.

Monroe Police Chief said the readers help officers solve more crimes.

“It reads certain tags that have been entered into the system that might be violent crime offenders, like pedophiles, restraining orders, people that have restraining orders, stolen vehicles,” said Chief Zordan.

Zordan said if a vehicle is located, the system sends an alert to dispatchers and officers. He said it’s a good investigative tool for the department and is used by many other agencies in Northeast Louisiana and throughout the country.

“For instance, it could be a narcotics investigation that was done in California. If a sheriff’s office or a police department over there has an arrest warrant for a suspect and knows the vehicle number they enter the tag number into the system, it pops on one of our cameras over here,” said Chief Zordan.

And these scanners are also helping solve crimes in our city.

“We had an incident here in Monroe where a person picked up a female, basically beat her to the point, he thought she was dead, drove to Winnsboro, and dumped her off in a field. She didn’t die but we were able to get the tag number from witnesses at the location put it into the system and follow his route from the point where he picked her up, to the point where he took her to the hotel, and where he dropped her off and where she was found,” said Chief Zordan.

Mayor Friday Ellis said it’s good to get more license plate readers because it helps the police department do their job more efficiently.

“Crime isn’t just in one or two pockets, it’s all over the city, it’s all over the parish, and so it’s good for us to put them all throughout Monroe to help us,” said Mayor Ellis.

Chief Zordan said the license plate readers are not there to invade anyone’s privacy but to simply help solve violent and high-value crimes. One reader costs 28,000 dollars. Part of the cost is being paid through a grant by the Victims of Crime Act. The rest is coming from the police department’s budget.

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