LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – As Metro Nashville inches forward implementing license plate recognition (LPR) technology, other cities across Middle Tennessee are aggressively jumping on this emerging crime fighting technology to catch criminals.
In Lebanon, the city has embraced this crime fighting technology now referred to as Safe Net. After an initial test run with only two LPR cameras, the city has expanded to 28 LPR cameras currently set up on the roads and highways around the city.
In the last three days, the LPR system identified four stolen cars, resulting in the arrest of three people with a fourth arrest pending.
The LPR hits began Monday night when police caught Jerry Fields, a Lebanon man who was in a Ford Escape reported stolen out of Nashville.
The next day, LPR cameras alerted officers to a stolen Mercedes out of Jackson, Tennessee, resulting in the arrested of Deterries Seymour of Nashville.
On Wednesday, LPR cameras spotted a Nissan Rogue that was stolen earlier in the day in Lebanon. When police went to arrest the driver, she ran away. She has since been identified and there are now warrants out for her arrest.
Also on Wednesday, LPR cameras found a jeep stolen out of Michigan. The driver, 36-year-old Alecia Jones of Benton Harbor, Michigan, was arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail.
Lebanon police told News 2 there are now 28 cameras at important access points in and around the city to maximize safety of its residents.
“We want to provide a safe environment for our community. We don’t want criminals coming here to commit further crimes with these stolen vehicles,” Lt. PJ Hardy said. “We don’t want escalation in the types of crimes that could exist from these situations. It keeps our city safer, provides closure for those victims whose vehicles have been stolen; it keeps relatively bad people off the streets.”
Not only are the cameras great at catching criminals, they are often quite useful for locating missing persons during Silver and AMBER alerts.
Officials told News 2 the city plans to get two more cameras in the near future.