In hopes of stopping drug trafficking, gun running and money laundering from Mexico into Chicago, the Chicago police department wants to install 200 cameras along 1,200 miles of interstate highways to snap photos of license plates of suspected criminals. Advocates of the proposal contend there are many other benefits, such as catching other criminal activities such as speeding, and helping to locate missing children.
The program would cost around $10 million and would ideally be funded by a Federal Stimulus package. Currently, the pilot program’s license plate readers are being loaned but eventually a source will have to step up to purchase them if the city decides to proceed. Supporters argue that that the program would be cost effective and money would not be wasted.
“Project CrisCros is one way that states and communities working together can help supplement the federal government’s efforts,” commented Frank Kruesi, former president of the Chicago Transit Authority. “The mayor talked about it in the context of ‘here’s the problem-this is what we want to be doing.'”
So far, results have been successful. During the 90 day trial of license plate readers, the Illinois state police have made dozens of arrests on Chicago highways. This success demonstrates how useful surveillance cameras are in catching and investigating criminals and making the roads safer for everyone.