Traffic Cameras Being Used to Help Police Nab Criminals

Police in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, are using new traffic camera technology to deter crime and solve cases.

"They never miss anything," said West Bridgewater Police Chief Victor Flaherty, who's been working on installing the cameras for the past year.

There are two new traffic cameras installed in front of the West Bridgewater Police Department. The cameras have the ability to read the license plate of each vehicle that drives by, day or night.

Flaherty said if a "be on the look out," or a BOLO, is issued by another police department, they can help using the camera's technology.

"We'll be able to find the car and identify the registration," he said.

Dispatchers have the ability to pause and rewind the live video. They can select the time and date to look for a vehicle matching a description.

They can then zoom into the car's license plate, and even the people inside the vehicle.

"Depending on the speed that they came by, we may be able to identify the driver and the passenger," said Flaherty. "I can get any information of people coming by."

Currently, those searches are done manually, but with a new software update just months away, searches will be automatic.

"We can program in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, because it's stolen or for an armed robbery," he said. "The camera will go 'armed robbery,armed robbery,' it will speak to you."

They can search an entire license plate or a partial plate matching a vehicle description and narrow the search.

The cameras in front of the department are the first of many.

Future cameras will be installed on Route 24, Route 28, North Main Street, North Elm Street, Turnpike Street and another set west of the department on Route 106.

Chief Flaherty said all too often, people who commit crimes in neighboring Brockton run from police on West Bridgewater roadways.

"Hopefully, we build in a year," Flaherty said. "Maybe four or five more cameras."

The infrastructure for the cameras cost about $9,000, but moving forward, installing additional cameras will only cost $2,400 each.

"It's a good day to see it up there and working," said Flaherty.

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