"We're trying to upgrade here," said Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland. "We're trying to go in a positive direction."

In the short two years that Chief Holland has been in charge of the department, he has been able to secure several grants -- that have all brought new and updated equipment to the village's police force.

The latest acquisition is a state-of-the-art license plate reader or LPR.

Plate scan technology works by capturing digital images of license plates as they pass one of the two cameras mounted on the patrol car. The plates are cross checked against the database, stored on a server in the trunk of the car.

It can check vehicles traveling at speeds from 15 mph up to 150 mph, Chief Holland said.

If a plate matches a wanted vehicle, the system will take a picture of the car, the plate, and provide its GPS coordinates. The patrolling officer can then be certain which vehicle they are looking for.

"It's also a good tool for officer safety," Chief Holland said, by providing the exact coordinates of the vehicle and the officer that spotted it.

The server for the system is kept in the trunk of the car. It can be updated easily, so it is always scanning with up-to-the-minute information. Chief Holland said an "air card" or Internet card is inserted in the machine which updates the system. A year's worth of service for the air card was donated by the Newcomerstown American Legion Post.

"It's technology that's beenaround," Chief Holland said, but in different forms.

This type of infrared technology is also used at such places like the post office, grocery stores and super markets.

"It's a good tool," Chief Holland said about the LPR. "This is probably the best technology that has come along in a long time."

The Newcomerstown Police Department was able to acquire the device, which is valued at approximately $15,00, through a grant provided by Homeland Security.

The department has also received many other items from grants obtained under Chief Holland's leadership including a new Python radar system and new in-cruiser cameras.

He said these items, including the new license plate reader, are being used on a daily basis, and they are seeing the benefits by maintaining the safety of the residents in Newcomerstown.