DeSoto County tag reader on the lookout

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Alicia Barbee says it seems as if cops are everywhere these days.

”It’s just ridiculous, I mean, you’ve got a cop sitting at every corner,” she said.

Now, it’s not just cops.

A $39,000 Homeland Security grant has brought an odd-looking contraption to DeSoto County.

It reads car tags, which Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Macon Moore says is especially useful for Amber Alerts.

”We use ‘em to solve burglaries, we apprehended a stolen vehicle yesterday, which puts us up to 13 or 14 since this has been in service,” he said.

He added it works fast. They’re in hidden spots all over DeSoto County.

Once the tag reader gets your tag’s snapshot, it sends it through the national crime database. If the computer gets a hit on a law violation or a report, it sends the information instantly to a dispatcher’s screen in Hernando.

From there, dispatchers, who know where the tag scanner is located and can dispatch a deputy in minutes.

”It never sleeps, it never calls in sick, it works 24 hours a day, basically it’s on watch,” Moore said.

And to those who fear it’s an invasion of privacy, Moore says like it or not, cameras are everywhere these days, and officers use public and private cameras to solve crimes all the time.

”If you’re doing something wrong and it’s punishable by law, it’s going to be found out, one way or the other,” he said.

Now it seems as if folks will get found out even sooner.

9 comments

  • John

    Alicia barbee is an idiot. the camera is for stolen vehicles, amber alerts, and bolo vehicles. its not for mailing expired tag or speeding tickets out.

  • fastoy

    Another story referenced on this page is “DeSoto County sheriff wants bigger budget.” Seems like if they’ve got $39,000 a piece for these to be in “spots all over DeSoto County” the sheriff must have enough budget. I realize they’re from a Homeland Security grant but still it’s money.

    And regarding the question of invasion of privacy, Moore’s response of “like it or not, cameras are everywhere these days” is not really a very sensitive response.

    • Terrie

      @Fastoy – they didn’t cost $39k each
      @D Johnson – As i remember right, blinkers inside every car is just for letting someone know you’re changing lanes to avoid a collision. Obviously you don’t use them like half the idiots in Memphis BUT, it is STILL A LAW and the word stop means just that… STOP. If you’re not going to obey the laws in Desoto then stay out. REAL simple

  • d. Johnson

    ”If you’re doing something wrong and it’s punishable by law, it’s going to be found out, one way or the other,” he said.

    Now it seems as if folks will get found out even sooner

    LET’S hope that hold true for the officers that decide to break traffic laws while driving, like talking on the phone or texting. Or my favorite the California stops and not signaling for a lane change all of which they use as reasons for pulling people over.

  • Brian

    Said part is repo trucks have been running these cameras for years and PD has access to every tag they scan. They record date time and exact gps location.

  • fastoy

    @WALLACE – I understand that grant money has to be spend for what the grant was written. I was suggesting that perhaps that grant could have been written to cover some of the INCREASE that the sheriff is asking for.

    @TERRIE – The story is pretty poorly written regarding the cost. ”We use ‘em to solve burglaries,” and “They’re in hidden spots all over DeSoto County.”

  • K

    I oppose this intrusion – it is nothing more than a revenue generator for the county and an encroachment on my life. We need less of this police state intrusive government and more officers who hired to PROTECT AND SERVE! If you want to solve criminal cases there are other means to do so without tapping into innocent peoples lives – yes I am an innocent! I drive legally and appropriately and do not require abstract screening or investigation by the intrusive device! Really upset about this police state move on us the people! I can hardly support the above stated acceptances of having these installed – we have a lot of officers that need to concentrate on the criminal concerns indicated and stop trying to increase revenue with traffic violations most of which are traps set up for just that.

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