Well, it's no longer the "Death Star". I guess that is a little too politically incorrect, so we will have to give these LPR (License Plate Reader) cars a different monicker. I'm thinking Crime Probe, in keeping with the Star Wars theme. Last night, Sgt Ken Shackelford and I were out in one of the prototype probes near Poplar and Highland. We were watching cars go by and listening to the audible alerts - whenever a tag was read. The license plate is checked to see if the vehicl has been reported as stolen, then we check the local MVR (motor vehicle records) table for a match, then warrants, sex offenders, etc. etc. etc.
If we get a match on the tag, but the tag has expired, we get an audible alert. We get a different alert when a sex offender is possibly detected, another on a possible warrant, and . . . I think you get the picture. The sound we really want to hear, though, is a siren. When that happens, the name on the warrant and the name on the car have a match, and so it went last night. While listening to the computer sound like a Jack in the Box, as the cars went by, we heard the siren.
I'll bet Terrence Jones has been as nervous as a mouse in a lions den since 2005, when OCU did a Knock and Talk at his mother's house and found a bunch of marijuanna. A warrant for his arrest was obtained, but he has not been arrested since then. Imagine his surprise when we blocked his car in and Shack put him under arrest! He was a little anxious, until he was placed in the back seat of the squad car and I informed him he was now Notorious - not so B.I.G. I told Terrence that he was THE first arrest generated by the LPR/ MPD Crime Probe. His eyes brightened as he pondered the meaning of his newfound infamy. Terrence had a stack of CDs in his hand, which he said were cut by his "little buddy". I suggested he get him to do a wrap on being the first arrestee of the MPD Crime Probes. Coming soon to a record stow near you!
A word of warning to the people of Memphis and Shelby County - keep your tags up to date and avoid the fines and court costs! The MPD will be putting over 100 Probes on the street this year.
We have deployed a "skycop" trailer in the Poplar Plaza shopping center because Blue Crush data indicated a problem with cars being broken into at that location. The RTCC is monitoring the cameras as I type.