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Springfield takes a look at license plate readers
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The Springfield Police Department could be the next local law enforcement unit to add license plate scanners.

Sgt. Bryan Burgess presented the idea to city council at its Feb. 10 meeting. The price for one license plate reader is a little more than $19,000, and the city can get two units for $33,840.

“This reads tags faster than we can spit them out,” Burgess said.

Rincon’s department has had a license plate reader in effect for nearly three months, and Bloomingdale has written 119 citations from its license plate reader since Sept. 1, according to Burgess. Over a six-month period, the citations have generated $52,000.

“I support it simply from a safety standpoint,” Mayor Barton Alderman said. “It could keep a DUI off the road.”

Burgess said having a reader also could cut down on the number of possible stops Springfield officers make.

The readers could be installed into one vehicle or, with a Pelican case, can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle for an additional $2,100.

Council members also approved the first reading of a rezoning request by the Effingham Hospital Authority. The hospital has purchased 3.67 acres off Highway 21, the former home of the Agape Assembly of God. The hospital wants to put business offices on the tract.