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Freeport Mayor: Crime Down 12.3 Percent With License Scanning Program

FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The mayor of one Long Island village is touting the success of their recently implemented license plate scanning program.

Freeport unveiled 27 mounted license plate readers that encircle the perimeter of the 4.3-square-mile village at nearly every entrance. They automatically cross-reference with state, federal and Department of Motor Vehicles databases.

More than 15 million drivers have had their license plates scanned by Freeport police since cameras were set up in November to record every single vehicle coming in and out of the Long Island village.

At police headquarters, officers check the information coming in from more than 30 license plate cameras set up at village borders.

Freeport Mayor Robert J. Kennedy told CBS2 the program led to the seizing of more than 800 stolen or improperly registered vehicles, and also major arrests.

"Including murderers, armed robbers, burglars, wanted felons and several drug dealers," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the program has been so successful that the police department is considering expanding the department to accommodate the influx of activity, WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs reported.

"In 2015, the crime has decreased in the Village of Freeport by 12.3 percent," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said only lawbreakers need to worry, but civil liberty groups want more safeguards to protect privacy.

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