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IMPD license plate readers, public safety cameras make a positive impact, according to local business owners

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 06, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis business owners believe license plate readers and public safety cameras are already making a difference in the city.

"A lot some of the crime has been going down," said local business owner Crystal Swallows. "Some people are just noticing the cameras right there."

Swallows and her husband own Romey's Used Tires on East New York Street. A license plate reader is just feet away from their business.

Swallows said it's been keeping thieves out of the shop.

"It makes us feel secure, safe, so we know it's there," Swallows said. "I think it should stay up there forever."

IMPD said 58 license plate readers are now monitoring Indianapolis streets along with around 250 public safety cameras.

Data from this technology is stored for at least 30 days.

IMPD Commander of Criminal Investigations Division Matthew Thomas said it's making a major difference in policing and bringing justice to families.

"What we have seen with existing deployment is it's actually solving cases," Thomas said. "It is finding missing people. It's leading us in the right direction very quickly. It's providing digital witnesses to events that we can then move a case forward and when we come back to meet with a family and provide an update on our case we have some headway."

Thomas said a highly anticipated gunshot detection pilot program is still in the works.

Part of the $9 million from the American Rescue Act funding is set aside for programs, such as the gunshot detection program, but if the department decides it wants to keep this program it will need additional funding.

Funding, Swallows believes, is worth it.

"I think the more they get and more they keep the better results we will have in the end," Swallows said.