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Plate readers to photograph Wrightstown Twp. roads

Intersection of routes 413 and 232 in Wrightstown
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New high-tech cameras could help police catch alleged criminals driving through Wrightstown.

That was the word from Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn at the March 18 Wrightstown Board of Supervisors meeting. Wrightstown pays Newtown Township for police coverage.

Hearn told supervisors that the department has received a $151,000 grant to install advanced license plate recognition readers in select areas, one of them being the intersection of routes 413 and 232 in Wrightstown.

The cameras can read the license plate and essentially take a picture of the vehicle. They then run the license plate number through the National Crime Information Center database, which includes arrest warrants.

“If a match is detected, the information is forwarded automatically to an on-duty police officer, who can then provide early intervention,” said Wrightstown Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski.

Additionally, the system will flag motorists driving while suspended in Pennsylvania and those who are the subject of local alert bulletins from other Bucks County police departments, Pogonowski noted. Such information will also be relayed to an on-duty officer, who can then take action.

The cameras will offer 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week monitoring. However, authorities said they will not be used for speed enforcement.

“Data,” Pogonowski shared, “will be purged after 30 days unless a plate becomes involved in a further investigation.”

In other news, the owners of the property at 662 Durham Road, where Indian Walk Veterinary Center is located, are interested in subdividing a portion of the property as a separate lot for resale. No improvement/building plan was proposed for the envisioned new lot. The application will next be reviewed by the Wrightstown Township Planning Commission before going back to supervisors for additional review.

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