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SMPD: Automated License Plate Readers to be installed throughout Santa Maria

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - New cameras are being added across Santa Maria, giving police a high-tech tool to fight crime.

In the last few years, officers have seen an increase in car thefts. 

To combat that increase, the police department is getting new cameras with automated license plate readers that can take clear shots while cars are moving.

The Santa Maria City Council approved the nearly $240,000 purchase last week.

These cameras will be mounted to poles throughout the city. The department is still working on where they will be posted.

The new high-tech tools are expected to be up and running in the next few months.

“Currently, we are funded for 31 license plate readers that will be distributed throughout the city in areas of high traffic,” said Santa Maria Police Department Division Commander Daniel Cohen. 

Critics have mentioned this tool could expose the undocumented immigrant community and could lead to deportation. However, the department said the new cameras will not be used for these purposes.

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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