Wichita police hopeful pilot program will help to reduce violent crime

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Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 5:10 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita Police Department reports violent crimes like drive-by shootings are up 111 percent from this time last year. They’re hoping a pilot program can help in the fight to reduce the numbers.

The program involves setting up license-plate reader cameras in areas of the city where violent crime is on the rise. The cameras and the software that uses them allow police to search specific information about a suspect vehicle, including the make, model, or partial plate numbers, obtaining images of vehicles to help WPD officers more quickly solve cases and make arrests.

Wichita Police Lt. Casey Slaughter said the program allows officers to monitor a high-crime area even if they can’t be in that area.

“...If the license plate reader is doing (its) job, then it’s just another tool of many tools that we have to use at our disposal to help capture violent offenders,” Lt. Slaughter said.

He said the program can also be helpful with Amber Alert situations or reports of missing people that may be in danger. The WPD is about halfway through the pilot program utilizing the license plate readers. This comes at no cost to taxpayers.

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