License plate scanners approved in Winter Park

Updated:

Winter Park police plate scanning approved

WINTER PARK, Fla. - Even the most careful drivers will soon be susceptible to a random check by Winter Park police officers.

Commissioners just approved equipping some patrol cars with cameras that automatically scan license plates as officers drive around.

The city of Winter Park expects to put the cameras in some patrol cars by May.

Winter Park residents aren't happy.

"They shouldn't be everywhere we turn. I'm not too happy about that," Winter Park resident Vince Pedicini said.

"I think the police are scared of the people nowadays, so they want to keep an eye on things," resident Chris Kershaw said.

Federal forfeiture money in the amount of $71,000 will be spent on the cameras.

The system can tip off officers about stolen vehicles, sex offenders and suspended licenses.

The officer doesn't have to do a thing but devote attention to looking for potential criminal activity.

The cameras are already used in Orlando and Sanford.

A Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said eight were put in cars back in November. So far, they're considering it successful.

Some Winter Park residents think the cameras will be an invasion of privacy in a city that normally reports little crime.

"We buy our cars and they belong to us," Kershaw said.

Channel 9 learned the information taken by the cameras will be stored on computers at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Some law enforcement agencies claim the scanners can read up to 2,000 plates in a shift. The information collected can be shared with other agencies.