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License plate scanning alerts Denver cops to "wanted vehicles"

Police in Denver are using new technology that scans license plates in an effort to get criminals off the streets.

CBS Denver

DENVER - Police in Denver are using new technology to scan license plates and help authorities determine whether a particular vehicle, or driver, is wanted, reports CBS Denver.

The program is called D-DACTS, or Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety.

The program uses a camera to scan the license plate of every passing vehicle. It then gives the officer the status of the vehicle's registered owner and flags anything suspicious, reports the station.

"Maybe the car was involved in a hit-and-run, or somewhere along the line the car was registered to someone who has an active warrant for an arrest," said Denver Police Officer Robert Greaser.

"We use data to point us in the direction to show us where the crime and crashes are taking place," said Denver Police Department Cmdr. Paul Pazen.

Police then send an officer equipped with the license plate reader to the location.

The program was expected to roll out city-wide on Friday. Police call it a game changer.

"By doing this, we know we will really have an impact on reducing crime and improving safety," said Pazen.

The license plate readers cost about $11,000 each. The Denver Police Department owns six of them. The data is erased after 364 days, CBS Denver reported.