Bugs and glitches prompt departments to dump license plate readers

File Photo
License plate reader on a Warren Police cruiser. The technology was used to locate Vester Lee Flanagan II along a Virginia interstate. He was suspected of killing a TV reporter and videographer. (WKBN File Photo)


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – While many police departments use the same device that helped police track down and catch the gunman in the Virginia news crew slaying, some local departments here in the Valley have quit using it.

A number of departments, including the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and the Boardman Police Department, received the scanners through a federal grant. But both agencies stopped using the device because of high maintenance costs and lack of performance.

“They would get hits on mailboxes – different things trigger them. They didn’t work well for us,” Greene said. “It just wasn’t a practical piece of equipment for us to use or beneficial for us to use.”

Some local departments stopped using the scanners and check license plates with computers in their cruisers. Some of the devices were returned to the manufacturer.

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