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Golden police install license plate readers across city, make several arrests using the technology

Posted at 9:30 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 00:37:46-05

GOLDEN, Co — The hunt for crime has been made a little easier in Golden with the installation of fixed license plate readers, according to the Golden Police Department.

"Flock is a camera system that we have implemented since approximately beginning of November," Sergeant Ben Salentine said.

The camera system records descriptions of vehicles driving by, including the vehicle type, color and license plate, and alerts police when stolen vehicles or tags associated with suspects enter the system.

"The way we have them utilized is through high traffic areas, high crime areas," Sgt. Salentine said.

GPD has installed between 10 and 20 license plate readers across Golden since November, resulting in several arrests. The last one was on Tuesday.

"We were able to apprehend three violent felons that were armed, had a whole bunch of different stolen goods inside of the van that we were able to link to other crimes that actually had occurred earlier in the day in the city of Golden," Sgt. Salentine said.

While Golden is still testing out the system, Denver and Aurora police have been using the system for several years.

Denver7 inquired how much crime the system has solved for the municipalities, but that information was not readily available.

Aurora has had some issues with the system, specifically in August 2020 when a woman and her four children were held at gunpoint by Aurora police. Officers mistakenly thought the family was in a stolen vehicle based off the tip they received from the license plate reader. Officers failed to check the information from the reader, showing that it was a Montana motorcycle that was stolen, not the woman's car.

"Aurora has a different police department, different city, different technologies, different officers. I can only really speak to how we do business," Sgt. Salentine said. "When we train our officers, we are always looking for ... the confirmation."

If the trial period in Golden continues to be successful, Sgt. Salentine says they will add more cameras across the city.