License plate reader technology coming to Sikeston, Carbondale

License plate reader technology is coming to two more Heartland communities.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:47 AM CST
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SIKESTON, Mo. & CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - License plate reader (LPR) technology is coming to two more Heartland communities.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety and Carbondale Police Department will adding the technology in an effort to combat criminal activity.

The announcements come a day after Cape Girardeau Police reported they are using the FLOCK system, a license plate camera recognition technology installed throughout the city.

According to the City of Sikeston, the city council approved purchasing two FLOCK safety cameras to add to their current city-wide camera system.

Council members agreed to a 5-year contract with FLOCK for the two cameras at a cost of $25,700. The city will pay $5,700 for the first year of the contract. Sikeston DPS will pay for the remaining four years, at a cost of $5,000 per year, which will come from their camera budget.

The city said the LPR cameras will be placed at the entry and exit points to help Sikeston DPS with various investigations.

In a released statement, Sikeston DPS Capt. Ryan Smith said LPR cameras have been in some patrol cars for over a decade and have helped with investigations, including a recent double-homicide in the city earlier this year.

“We had very little to go on at first, the homicide happened at about 2:30 a.m.,” said Capt. Smith. “(After) we developed a vehicle and a license plate, that vehicle was located on multiple FLOCK cameras in Atlanta, Georgia, which led us to the suspect and his subsequent arrest.”

Smith also stated he would like to add more FLOCK cameras across the city in the coming years, if the budget allows.

In southern Illinois, Carbondale Police announced the department has been awarded $362,000 grant from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to purchase cameras, license plate readers and digital forensic technology to combat organized retail crime.

It is not clear if the department will be using the FLOCK system.

In a Facebook post, Carbondale Police Chief Stan Reno said the grant will not only help with crime fighting, but will have lasting impacts.

“This technology will assist with ongoing criminal investigations and future cases involving retail theft and other criminal acts to hold offenders accountable,” said Chief Reno.

Carbondale Police said their department is one of only five in the state to receive the grant from the AG’s Office.