Cape Girardeau police cams: Crime-fighting aid or invasion of privacy?

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - New technology being used by police in the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau is being called a great crime-fighting aid. But some call it an invasion of privacy.

The Southeast Missourian reports that for the past seven months, Cape Girardeau police have used a patrol car with high-speed cameras attached to its roof to capture photos of nearly every passing vehicle and its license plate.

Each plate number is sent to a national database accessible only by police agencies. The system sounds an alarm if the plate belongs to someone with an active warrant or criminal history, if the car is suspected stolen, or if the plate is part of a missing child investigation.

Some believe the system tramples civil liberties. Police say safeguards are in place.

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