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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sioux City police to use license plate reading cameras

Sioux City police to use license plate reading cameras
 
 

Sioux City's police department is the latest in the state to acquire license plate reading cameras. Captain Ryan Bertrand says the cameras are not used to write tickets like speed cameras.

"The cameras are aimed at the back of vehicles, they're looking at nothing more specific than a publicly visible license plate and a vehicle make and model and color," Bertrand says. He told the city council this week the cameras will help them find targeted vehicles.

"Proactively what it means for us is we can do such things as AMBER alerts, if we know there's a missing child that's been abducted in a parental abduction, that license plate could be entered in the system and if that vehicle is encountered by one of the cameras an alert can be generated," he says. Bertrand says there are currently 13 departments in Iowa that use plate reading cameras. South Sioux City, Nebraska uses them, and they recently helped find a suspects who crossed the border out of Sioux City.

"We knew that the suspect vehicle had a window shot out. We were able to see that vehicle 10 minutes after the Sioux City shooting going over into South Sioux with the damaged, uniquely damaged window," Bertrand says. "And we were able to get the license plate at that point. And from that we're able to track down the suspect. We're currently seeking federal charges on that suspect."

Sioux City police received an 85-thousand dollar grant to purchase the Flock System cameras along with Woodbury County. The city council in Sioux City approved a one-year contract to use the cameras.

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