Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Oak Forest tests red light cameras to catch child ..."

"Oak Forest tests red light cameras to catch child ...":

Oak Forest tests red light cameras to catch child abductors

Oak Forest police are believed to be the first in the country and perhaps the world to successfully test the village's red light cameras to locate vehicles identified in an Amber Alert.

The test allows for police to search in real time for wanted vehicles involved in child abductions or other serious crimes.

Oak Forest police are testing red light cameras to see if they can aid in Amber Alerts.

Art Vassy, SouthtownStar Officials in the police department are calling the feature a 'priceless tool for law enforcement.'

On Nov. 14, the department entered an Oak Forest squad car's license plate number into the computer system of Gatso USA, the company that manufactures the cameras used in Oak Forest.

Once the cameras identify the targeted vehicle, a text message is sent to police department e-mail accounts along with an image of the vehicle captured on camera.

'They (police) have a secure portal of software to the whole system that allows them to control this feature. The idea is speed is of the essence. Within seconds our cameras are looking for a license plate number.'

Noble said the company is making the Amber Alert feature available immediately. It will be rolled out over next three months in several Illinois communities.

Gatso has contracts with Oak Forest and Homewood in the south suburbs as well as Streamwood, Hanover Park, Lake Zurich and just recently Waukegan."

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