The Los Angeles Police Department is beginning to use new high-tech equipment to help recover stolen cars and catch crooks, says the Los Angeles Times. A computer- and camera-equipped car and six hand-held devices are in use now. Cameras in the dome light fixture scan the back seat and can access facial-recognition system. A microphone can be activated remotely by officers via a pager. Digital information is stored and downloaded and updated automatically upon return to the station.
Among other features: forward-facing digital video cameras record activity in front of the car; laptop computers can access multiple databases; an outside video begins high-resolution recording automatically when the car’s flashing lights activate; officers can manually zoom the camera and make adjustments for night or day conditions; cameras on the car’s roof feed license plate numbers into laptop computers loaded with stolen car database, which contains 100,000 entries. The system alerts officers to a match.