City of Lufkin approves installment of automated license plate readers on city roadways

Lufkin police say new technology will help catch criminals and find missing persons.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:56 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin police say new technology will help catch criminals and find missing persons.

The city approved a contract for automated license plate readers to be installed around Lufkin.

“I think it’s going to make the community safer and it’s going to be beneficial for if you have a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, and they drive away, and we can maybe track them with our license plate reader,” Lufkin Police Chief David Thomas said.

Thomas said they are required to follow the proper steps to verify a vehicle before pulling it over.

“We actually send an officer out to look for that vehicle to make sure that it didn’t misread a license plate number, or that that’s actually the vehicle that we’re looking for,” said Thomas.

He said data collected on vehicles will be held in their system for 30 days.

“We have to have a specific reason to look for your license plate in the system, so we’re not going to count how many times you’ve been to hobby lobby within the last week or two,” he said.

Chief Thomas said those reasons would include a criminal incident, missing persons, or wanted people.

“We can’t just out of curiosity type in your license plate number to see where you’ve been. We have to do a report, we have to put that information into evidence, and it has to be logged that we’ve logged it into the system and that we used the system at all,” he said

Thomas also said the reader can keep track of people from other cities in the state.

“If there’s a person with a warrant, or if they’re wanted for a murder out of Houston, or out of the Dallas area and they drive through Lufkin trying to get away then that would also flag and notify those agencies,” said Thomas.

The cameras are expected to be placed on the side of the road on TxDOT approved poles. The same brand is expected to be seen throughout the state.