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Letter: Important tool for law enforcement

Re “Police press for scanners” (Sunday Monitor front page, Dec. 29):

I support the license plate scanner law up for vote Jan. 8 and encourage others to. I have been a security specialist for the past 20 years; prior to that I was a New Hampshire police officer. As a cop, I remember getting page after page of wants, warrants and stolen vehicles. Talk about distracted driving! Try reading a plate coming at you at 50 mph, then flipping through a few pages of small type to find it – all without crashing or losing sight of the vehicle.

Plates popping up on the scanners would be from the same databases the police already access; the difference would be greater speed, efficiency and safety. Opponents, who often complain about government inefficiency, are apparently fine with it in law enforcement. With the assistance of plate scanners, officers would be freed to perform other aspects of their jobs – and pay attention to the road.

Could scanners make mistakes? Sure, but human beings make a lot more. The verification process in the current version of the bill helps reduce mistakes. I agree that non-offending plates should not be retained – a 24-48 hour purge is a little more reasonable than 3 minutes. The bottom line – you don’t need to worry if you are not a criminal. When it’s your stolen car, or worse your kid, complaining about how slow the cops are isn’t going to make a difference; this can.



Legacy Comments2

So, what do you propose, a scanner in every cruiser? The things cost around 20K each. Who gets to pay for this police toy? Count me out. There is already enough Christmas going on for the police in this country.

This writer makes more sense than any of the last 100 or so letters I've read here in the Monitor.

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