Through fundraising, law enforcement expanding crime-fighting tech in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Brad Barr does 21st-century crime fighting. He makes technology work for him.
"I can scan 10,000 plates a day,” said Cpl. Brad Barr with the Baton Rouge Police Department, pointing to the cameras on top of his car. “You have to be in the right place at the right time.”
Two cameras on the sides of his car read license plates on parked cars nearby. Two in the front check other drivers on the road.
“Twice a day the car downloads a hot-sheet of all the stolen vehicles, wanted felons and Amber Alerts. It stores them in the modem in the car, so as I'm driving around it will scan license plates, check it against that hot-sheet and alert me if something comes up,” said Barr.
District Attorney Hillar Moore would like every law enforcement vehicle in the parish to have the same equipment. A Baton Rouge Area Foundation fundraising effort has generated about a half-million dollars for exactly this kind of equipment. That’s enough for about 30 items.
"License plate readers are about $15,000; cameras are the same,” said Moore.
Moore says they've collected nearly $500,000, allowing law enforcement to get close to 30 new tools. The goal is to have the crime cameras capture what happened and what vehicle or person was involved. Then the license plate cameras will find those responsible.
"We want to see who's passed through that intersection, where that camera is, and we just don't have that right now,” said Moore.
Moore says he'd like to raise another half-million in the next two to three months to continue this crime fund.
Both BRPD and EBR Sheriff's Office are discussing where the cameras will be placed.