The streets of Stonington are a little less safe for those people without car insurance or a registered vehicle.
For the past few months the Stonington Police Department has been trying out a license plate reader. Cameras on one patrol car snap a photograph of every nearby vehicle and license plate. A computer inside the car shows the car and the license plate and tells police if the car is unregistered or wanted for another law-enforcement reason.
“It’s making the road safer,” Lt. Todd Olson said. “It’s taking unregistered vehicles and uninsured motorists off the road.”
The license plate reader costs about $13,000 to $16,000. The Stonington Police Department received a free one year trial after Olson won a drawing at an equipment expo. The department is hoping to apply for grants to purchase the equipment after the trial.
“It’s a great tool, it’s the newest technology out there,” Olson said.
The Groton Town Police Department currently has two license plate readers. According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal in the past five years the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given more than $50 million in federal grants to law enforcement agencies to buy license plate readers.