License plate scanning technology helps police Police apprehend suspect


by Ashley Korslien &

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 6:22 PM

POST FALLS--An early morning police chase in North Idaho Monday started on I-90 after a specialized police traffic camera flagged the suspect’s car.

Click here for more details on the chase.

The camera scans every single license plate that passes by, and then turns the image into computerized data.

It has an integrated color camera, an infrared camera that's got a built in processor that processes all the information.

That data is then sent back to the police department, and checked against a criminal database.

Officials say it then would alert all of the officers that are out on the street as well as a dispatcher that a vehicle just went through and we need to pay attention to that vehicle.

Post Falls Police Department was one of the first agencies in the country to get the license plate recognition in 2007 and is still one of the few using it today.

The department has three mobile versions of the camera stationed on patrol cars and six stationary cameras placed throughout the area.

Everyday the system scans between 30,000 and 40,000 license plates.

Police caught Justin Todd after his car was flagged. He was wanted on a felony warrant for eluding police. Todd was shot and killed in a North Idaho neighborhood after he led police on a 20 minute pursuit, and hit an officer with his car.

Officials say it has allowed them to solve dozens of cases and recover dozens of stolen vehicles.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office and Coeur d'Alene Police Department also utilize the resource.