IMPD getting extra help from license plate readers

(WISH Photo/John LeSage)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Six Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department cruisers have been outfitted with surveillance cameras that are mounted on the roof tops of the squad cars.

The surveillance technology can scan and read thousands of license plate numbers. Those numbers are stored in a database.

The information and images captured will allow police officers to spot stolen vehicles, missing persons, or even those behind an Amber Alert.

“It’s just another crime-fighting tool to ensure the public is safe from crime, and this adds to it,” said Deputy Chief Mike Bates with Indianapolis Homeland Security.

24-Hour News 8 went on a ride-along with IMPD Sgt. Mark Dorsey to test out the equipment. With each passing vehicle, the cameras would sound an alert when a passing vehicle was in some type of violation.

The department is mainly using the cameras to find wanted people, and not for common nuisances like expired tags. The cameras can do specific or random searches.

“I’ve got eyes on the back of my head and on the side of my head,” said Sgt. Dorsey.

Some officers have gone through several rounds of training on the license plate readers. Currently, the department has no immediate plans to add any more license plate readers. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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