CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Chicago Police Department is expanding the use of license plate recognition technology to allow officers to spot vehicles that were reported stolen or are flagged in law enforcement systems.

Police said several dozens squad cars, as well as pod cameras, are receiving the technology.

Chief Jonathan Lewin‏ said hits will go to officer’s smart phones. “They’re basically getting real-time hit data, as they’re driving around, on wanted vehicles.”

The aim behind deploying the technology is to help combat auto theft, carjackings and overall crime.

 

“I believe this will go a long way in helping our officers locate vehicles taken and thefts more quickly and more accurately,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said. “As we continue to recover these vehicles, as well as the individuals driving them, we’ll begin to create hesitation among these offenders to commit these crimes and make our city safer.”

The cost per vehicle is $25,000. To that, Johnson said, “You cannot put a price on public safety. As we spend money for other things, we’re looking to cut down in other areas.”

Johnson added that he will continue to fight to end what’s essentially been a catch and release policy for young offenders.