Police use photos to track down stolen vehicles

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Some Kentucky police officers have added a new task to their duties - taking photos of vehicle license plates.

The Courier-Journal reports that automatic license-plate readers are being used by Louisville Metro Police officers and some other large Kentucky law enforcement agencies. The devices are used to track down stolen cars and find missing people.

Two cameras mounted on law enforcement cars take photos of license plates, which are read by an onboard computer that compares them with national crime data. Police say it speeds investigations by eliminating a need to manually check plates.

The American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns that the readers sweep up large amounts of information on innocent motorists, and that law enforcement agencies often lack safeguards to prevent abuses.

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