WEST LAFAYETE -- The West Lafayette Police Department will now have a more efficient way to track and capture individuals that may be on the run from authorities or have recently committed a felony.
Police Chief Terry Mardis recently reported to village council that the department received a new license plate reader through a grant from the LETPP (Law Enforcement Terrorism Protection Planning) of which Mardis is a board member. The license plate reader has recently been installed and is currently being utilized.
Mardis and Police Captain Erin Miller explained that the reader will be very beneficial to the department, as well as the community. One example of where the reader would be helpful is if a child in the area was abducted by an individual that is wanted by local authorities, and the vehicle of the abductor was in the area it could be tracked; thus possibly locating the child much quicker.
Mardis said the information from the individual's drivers license would be displayed and a warning alarm would indicate the system has further information about the individual. A picture will be taken of the car and license plate, and a map from a GPS system can pinpoint exactly where and when the vehicle was spotted.
Miller wanted to clarify that the system will not be intrusive to anyone and only displays information that is fed through LEADS (Law Enforcement Automated Data System). If the individual is on the statewide listing and has committed a felony, then their information will be displayed. Otherwise, the department could only capture a picture of the car and a close up view of the license plate. The LEADS is updated twice a day.
Miller has been very busy in the past months with safety education for the local school system. She has recently offered sessions for local junior high students regarding safe practice with telephone texting and bicycle safety.
Miller and Ohio State Highway Patrolman Leroy Bethel were involved with the "Click It or Ticket" program at the Ridgewood High School last month. Each student in a vehicle that arrived at the high school wearing their seat belts was awarded a prize. The event was sponsored by McDonalds. Miller said the "Click It or Ticket" program is a statewide program that is heavily stressed by local law enforcement for two weeks each year.
Items discussed by village council at the June 28 meeting included:
* The solicitation ordinance was given a second reading by council, though several amendments to the ordinance were approved. One of the amendments involved the requirement on felonies of anyone applying for the solicitation permit. The individual cannot have a record of a felony for at least 10 years, instead of the original five years that had been discussed.
* Village Administrator Dave Kadri is reminding residents to keep standing water to a minimum to control the mosquito population. The village will be spraying every two weeks. Kadri pointed out that the recent rain and humidity has triggered increased amounts of mosquitoes.
* An ordinance for the 2010 benefits, pay scale for village employees was given a first reading.
* A resolution for the use of Burt Park was approved at the June 14 council meeting.
* Council agreed to continue with Ohio Plan for village employees' insurance plan.
* Council approved appropriations for future street fund concerns.
* The Utility Committee met recently, according to committee member Dean Wears. He said residents will begin noticing a more stable billing cycle for the water and sewage services.
Council's next meeting will be Monday, July 12.