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Cameras keep track of all cars entering Medina

Sonia Krishnan
The Seattle Times [1]
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

City signs have a unique way of greeting people. In Issaquah, for instance, motorists are told they’re entering “a special place where people care.” For years, Bothell invited people to stay “for a day or a lifetime.”

In Medina, a new sign bears this warning: “You Are Entering a 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area.”

Cameras have recently been installed at intersections to monitor every vehicle coming into the city.

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[2]

Under the “automatic license plate recognition” project, once a car enters Medina, a camera captures its license-plate number. Within seconds, the number is run through a database.

If a hit comes up for a felony — say, the vehicle was reported stolen or is being driven by a homicide suspect — the information is transmitted instantaneously to police, who can “leap into action,” said Police Chief Jeffrey Chen.

“These cameras provide us with intelligence,” Chen said. “It gets us in front of criminals. I don’t like to be on a level playing field with criminals.”

Full story here. [1]