Horry County Police Department to install 23 license plate readers to combat crime

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Horry County Police Department plans to install 23 license plates readers throughout the county to help combat crime.

The license plate readers will be set up along all major roads going in and out of Horry County and encircling the area.

“We’re always looking for ways to be more efficient and better serve the public,” said Horry County police Capt. John Harrelson. “These are yet another tool that has become available to us. We are thankful that the council gave us the funding to do this and that we were able to get some grant money to supplement that. So, were excited to see where the program goes and hopefully reach that goal of better serving the community.”

The license plate readers are about $2,500 each. Horry County police told WMBF News that they have seen other jurisdictions implement these same devices or similar devices and they consider them to be a huge asset and an investigative tool.

They help us as an agency that covers a large geographical area to be more places at once,” said Harrelson.

The devices built by Flock Safety are designed to capture evidence to help police investigate and solve crimes faster and more efficiently.

“These systems also, including the one that we will have, will alert law enforcement if a stolen vehicle goes by it or a vehicle associated with a wanted person or a missing person. It will send an automated alert to officers letting them know so even if they’re not specifically in that area, they know to head in that direction and that there’s potential there for one of these types of vehicles to be present,” Harrelson explained.

Harrelson, who has been in law enforcement for 23 years, said there has been incredible progress made in the technology they use to help combat crime.

“When I started with the county police in the late 90s, we were handwriting reports,” Harrelson said. “Now we have electronic management systems. We now have these license plate readers and [a] host of other software available to us and other technology available to us and again the great part of that is all these things help us be more efficient and better serve our public.”

Harrelson said the police department hopes to start implementing the license plate reader program in the next couple of weeks.

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