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Broadview Heights police considering automatic license plate readers to crack down on crime

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 07, 2022

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — Broadview Heights Police hope to soon have a new crime-fighting tool aimed at putting the brakes on crime: cameras that automatically read and record all license plates that pass by them.

Like many cities, Broadview Heights police said there has been an uptick in crime in their city.

“We’ve had more guns ever, we had more drugs taken off the interstate ever. We had our first homicide in 40 years last year,” said Chief Steve Raiff.

Raiff said they had to rely on private cameras to help in the murder investigation. “I used a camera at McDonalds to identify the car used in the homicide and I think there is a better way,” explained Raiff.

That’s why the department is hoping to buy six Automated License Plate Readers. The cameras would be positioned on busy roads around the city.

The camera captures every license plate that rolls through a targeted area. The 24/7 technology has been instrumental, police said, in finding stolen cars, missing people and helping with Amber Alerts.

A Flock Safety Camera was instrumental in helping to find a suspect in the murder of Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek, according to a company official.

“An off-duty police officer in Cleveland that was robbed and ultimately killed — multiple agencies came together to go try and track down the suspect. Flock Cameras gave them that lead,” said Josh Thomas, VP External Affairs Flock Safety.

Raiff said he will ask city council about purchasing the cameras at the meeting later this month.

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